The excitement over SunRail is building throughout Central Florida as milestones are met and the official beginning of passenger service in spring 2014 gets closer by the day. 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. That DeBary to Orlando trip will take about 45 minutes, and passengers can rely on that travel time to be consistent regardless of weather or traffic. Each train will comprise a locomotive and two passenger cars with the capacity to carry up to 300 passengers seated. The passenger cars are ADA compliant with wheelchair lifts and securement equipment for chairs. The on-board restrooms are also designed to accommodate passengers with disabilities. The upper level has fixed seating with tables and electrical outlets for portable electronics. All trains will have free WiFi Internet access, so commuters can work or play on their way to the office.
Commuters will have a number of options for getting to the SunRail station. The DeBary station will have free parking for those who want to drive. Bicyclists can either take their bikes on the train with them or secure them to a bike rack at the station. SunRail is working with Votran to provide fixed route bus service to the SunRail station. For those who are undecided about how to get to the station, the Florida Department of Transportation’s reThink Your Commute program can help. Visit www.rethinkyourcommute.com for more information on transit and other commuting alternatives.
For more information on SunRail, visit http://sunrail and follow SunRail on Twitter @RideSunRail or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ridesunrail. If you are a member of the public looking for information about SunRail, please feel free to visit the SunRail City Center, located at 201 N. Magnolia Avenue, Suite 101 in downtown Orlando or call the Center at 407-487-4035. SunRail public information specialists are available to assist you.