SunRail is a train with an un­known fu­ture

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - LOCAL & STATE - By Kevin Spear Or­lando Sen­tinel

SunRail’s ex­pan­sion into Osce­ola County this sum­mer – go­ing from three coun­ties to four, from 12 sta­tions to 16 and from 32 miles to 49 – is giv­ing the com­muter train a mea­sur­able boost in rider numbers.

The Cen­tral Florida tran­sit sys­tem is slated for an op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial takeover by the re­gion in lit­tle more than two years. There is no plan for how to cover an­nual costs now near­ing $60 mil­lion, for how to run the train or for how to grow its sched­ule and ser­vice area.

But SunRail’s op­er­a­tor, the Florida Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, re­cently gave lo­cal of­fi­cials a sta­tion-by-sta­tion brief­ing on where riders get on and get off. Those sta­tis­tics, while not over­whelm­ing, show that the train is now per­form­ing about as well south of Or­lando as north of the city.

Here are snap­shots of SunRail numbers.

48,631

How many riders got on at SunRail’s Or­lando’s Church Street Sta­tion from July through Oc­to­ber. It was the busiest sta­tion, fol­lowed by 45,630 board­ings at Cen­tral Sta­tion in Or­lando in that pe­riod.

36,025

The num­ber of riders from July through Oc­to­ber who got on the train in SunRail’s north­ern­most county, Vo­lu­sia, at the sta­tion in DeBary, which opened in 2014.

61,493

The num­ber of riders from July through Oc­to­ber who boarded in the south­ern­most county, Osce­ola, at its newly opened sta­tions, Tup­per­ware, Kis­sim­mee and Poin­ciana.

37,585

Riders who got on in Win­ter Park for the same pe­riod, mak­ing it SunRail’s third-busiest stop. 11,937 and 15,650

Riders who boarded from July through Oc­to­ber at Tup­per­ware Sta­tion and Mait­land Sta­tion, re­spec­tively, which were SunRail’s least busy.

70,000 to 80,000 Num­ber of riders each month prior to ex­pan­sion into Osce­ola County.

134,333, 100,400, 127,606

Riders in Au­gust, Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber – all since ex­pan­sion.

KEVIN SPEAR/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

SunRail’s Cen­tral Sta­tion in down­town Or­lando.

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