About commuter rail
Commuter rail transit (CRT) uses steel-wheeled technology similar to a traditional train and is generally powered by a diesel locomotive. Existing CSXT railroad tracks will be utilized for SunRail's planned route. SunRail trains will consist of 1-3 cars, in addition to a locomotive, and can carry about 150 seated passengers per car. Maximum operating speed is generally between 65-79 mph.
What It Is Used For
Since commuter rail uses existing rail lines, it cannot mix with commuter or bus traffic. Because of this, commuter rail is usually used to connect outlying regions to centralized cities over longer distances (typical travel times can be 45 minutes or longer). Riders need to follow a schedule because CRT provides long-haul, limited-hour service. That is, it primarily operates during "peak" commuter times - i.e. morning and evening rush hours - to shuttle folks to a downtown or employment center area and then back home.
SunRail is Central Florida’s new commuter rail system which will connect DeLand in Volusia County to Poinciana in Osceola County when it’s fully completed in 2016. Phase 1 is under construction now and will connect DeBary with Sand Lake Road, near the Orlando International Airport. Phase 1 is 32 miles long and comprises 12 stations. Phase 2, which will begin construction in summer 2014 will extend the line north to DeLand and south into Poinciana.
SunRail is a commuter rail system, which means its primary purpose is to get people from home to work, and then back home again, while providing an alternative to driving I-4 every day. Its peak operating hours are going to be when I-4 is at its worst: 5:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. During those times, trains will run every half hour. During off peak, trains will run every two hours. The last trains will start their trip from the ends of the line between 9:00 and 9:15 p.m. so they can be done and off the tracks by 11:00 p.m.
The base fare for SunRail is $2.00 with a $1.00 zone charge for each county line crossed. For example, a trip from DeBary to downtown Orlando will cost $4.00 one way, since it will include crossing from Volusia into Seminole and then Orange counties. Daily commuters can take advantage of frequent-rider discounts through weekly, monthly or annual passes. The monthly pass for a DeBary to Orlando commute is $112, or 32 percent savings over buying one-way passes each day. Other discounts will be available for seniors, persons with disabilities, students and children.