More About Commuter rail

What is Commuter Rail?

• 61.5-Miles in length along existing CSXT freight tracks
• Phase 1 - DeBary to Sand Lake Road station - 32 miles
• Phase II - Sand Lake Road to Poinciana south of Kissimmee, and north from DeBary to DeLand - 30 miles

• 12 stations planned for Phase I
• 17 stations proposed at build-out
• At-grade stations with pedestrian connections
• Two intermodal centers at Lynx Central Station in downtown Orlando and in the Sand Lake Road area
• Enhanced bus and other transportation services at station stops
• Station amenities designed with input from local government officials
• 12 park-and-ride lots in outlying areas
• Park-and-ride lots no cost to user
» View Station Details Here

Operating Plan
• 30-minute peak service in each direction from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
• Two-hour off-peak service in each direction
• Phase I operational by 2014
• Phase II operational by 2016 
• Maintenance facilities located in the Sanford area
• Average speed of 45 miles per hour
• Up to 3-car train set, plus a locomotive

• Rest room facilities on all trains
• Power outlets to all seats
• Luggage and bicycle racks
• Wireless Internet connectivity
• Capacity for about 150 seated passengers per car on double-decker trains

What Will it Cost? (Additional Info)

Capital Funding $615 Million
Capital Funding Distribution
  1. Capital costs will be re-assessed during the design phase of project development.
  2. State money is in place for the project
    • State will pay for the operations and maintenance costs for the first seven years the system is in service
    • Local government will pay operating subsidy year eight and beyond
    • Operations and maintenance costs for the system are being evaluated
Typical O&M Funding Sources

When Can I Ride? (Schedule Context)


Project feasibility report-Central Florida Commuter Rail Authority


Regional systems plan adopted by Lynx


Preliminary rail feasibility study-Volusia County

2002 - 2004

Central Florida North-South Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis-Lynx/FDOT

2004 - 2006

Central Florida Commuter Rail Environmental Assessment-FDOT


Received resolutions in support of project from Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia Counties


Project adopted in Metroplan Orlando and Volusia County MPO Long Range Transportation Plans


FDOT and CSX Transportation announced an agreement in principle regarding the purchase of the existing 61-mile commuter rail tracks


FDOT completes environmental assessment process


Federal Transit Administration approves project to proceed into preliminary engineering phase

Summer 2007

Unanimous inter-local agreements reached with Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties, as well as the City of Orlando, to pay for one-quarter of project capital costs and future operations, maintenance and governance responsibilities


FTA approves project to proceed into final design

July 2011

SunRail receives Full Funding Grant Agreement for Phase I from the Federal Transit Administration

January 2012                                      SunRail construction begins

When Can I Ride? (What’s Next?)

Early 2012

Construction begins on Phase I, from DeBary in Volusia County to Sand Lake Road in Orange County

Late 2011

Preliminary Design begins on Phase 2 south from Sand Lake Road to Poinciana in Osceola County and north from DeBary to DeLand in Volusia County


Phase I opens for passenger rail service

Late 2013

SunRail receives Full Funding Grant Agreement for Phase II from the Federal Transit Administration

Late 2013

Construction begins on Phase II, south from Sand Lake Road to Poinciana in Osceola County and north from DeBary to DeLand in Volusia County


Phase II opens for passenger rail service

Why Commuter Rail?

Population growth equals more traffic delays

  • Population of Central Florida is expected to more than double in less than five decades (1)
  • More than 100,000 additional vehicles were registered in Central Florida between 2004 and 2008 (2)
  • Vehicle miles traveled in Central Florida have almost tripled since 1982 (3)
  • Gasoline consumption has increased an average of 34 percent in the last decade (3)
  • More than 88 percent of Central Floridians polled by the University of Central Florida believe that the region needs a more balanced transportation system -- including increased transit options such as passenger rail and buses (4)
  • SunRail provides new opportunities to focus growth in urban areas and improve job opportunities
  • SunRail provides reliable mobility service during peak travel times


  • Tourism is the leading industry in Central Florida, employing nearly one-quarter of the workforce (5)
  • An estimated 48.9 million people visited Central Florida in 2008 (5)
  • The number of tourists is expected to grow by 77 percent by the year 2030, adding to the region's congested road network (5)
  • SunRail will provide an alternative travel mode for tourists

Traffic congestion

  • Orlando drivers lost $850 in time and gasoline while creeping along in rush hour traffic in 2007, up from $510 in 2003 (6)
  • The $850 cost to each Orlando driver is expected to grow with traffic congestion and increased gasoline prices
  • SunRail is expected to move as many people as one lane of Interstate 4 during peak travel times (about 2,000 cars per hour) at a cost less than building a single lane of I-4 (cost for 30 miles along I-4 is $2.3 billion vs. 61.5 miles of SunRail at $1.05 billion for right-of-way and construction)
  • Rush hour delays have increased by 3.2 hours since 1982 (3)
  • SunRail service will start by 2014, before major reconstruction of Interstate 4 begins
  • Freight rail traffic in urban areas will be mitigated during peak travel times
  • Operations of SunRail and regional bus systems will be coordinated to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our mass transit system
  • SunRail could be the start of rail connections throughout the region

Why Commuter Rail? (Sources)

1.      Penn Design study

2.      Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

3., Central Florida Indicators Report 2005

4.      MetroPlan Orlando and University of Central Florida study, 2008

5.      Metroplan Orlando Annual Report, 2009

6.      Texas Transportation Institute 2009 mobility study of 2007 data

What About Freight?

On August 2, 2006, the Florida Department of Transportation announced an agreement in principle with CSX Transportation to purchase 61.5 miles of CSXT “A-Line” track through the urban heart of Central Florida, from Deland in Volusia County south to the Poinciana area in Osceola County. Appraisals on the corridor are complete, and FDOT expects to assume ownership of the corridor in 2011. Highlights of the agreement include:


  • State dispatch of all trains, including freight, along the 61.5-mile corridor – 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the first seven years of Commuter Rail operation. The Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission will assume that responsibility in subsequent years. For more information on the Commission, please visit the “Governing Board” page on the website.
  • State assumption of all maintenance responsibilities along the 61.5 mile Central Florida corridor for the first seven years of operation. After that, the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission once again assumes that responsibility.
  • Exclusive passenger rail access to the 61.5-mile corridor during peak travel periods, between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays.
  • In addition, CSXT’s long-range plans call for re-routing up to nine trains from the Central Florida urban area to CSXT’s alternate S-Line west of Orlando.

Want More Information?

Bountiful Benefits

DeLand/Orange City/DeBary/Volusia County

  • Nearly 50,000 people live in Orange City, DeBary and DeLand, one of the fastest growing areas of Volusia County
  • Nearly a quarter of the workforce commutes to jobs outside the county, primarily to Seminole and Orange counties

Sanford/Lake Mary/Longwood/Altamonte Springs

  • Home to two major retail malls
  • Growing business clusters along the I-4 corridor and individual communities
  • County government located in Sanford
  • Nearly 400,000 live in Seminole County
  • More than 40 percent of workforce commutes to jobs in Orange County (1)
  • Passenger counts at Orlando-Sanford Airport nearly doubled between 2000 and 2008

Winter Park/Orlando/Orange County

  • Economic and cultural hub of Central Florida
  • Home to NBA's Orlando Magic
  • Intermodal transfers at Lynx Central Station and the Sand Lake area
  • Federal/state/local government and educational activity centers
  • New downtown arena and a new performing arts center planned, as well as major renovations to the Citrus Bowl
  • Station stops at Florida Hospital Orlando and Orlando Health, two of the region's largest employers
  • Ready access to retail, dining and cultural activities in Winter Park and downtown Orlando
  • Amtrak transfer stations

Kissimmee/Osceola County

  • SunRail terminates at the 1,200-acre Poinciana Industrial Park, which now employs more than 1,600 workers with major expansions planned
  • Nearly 56,000 residents live within the city limits of Kissimmee, one of the fastest growing counties in Central Florida
  • Almost three-quarters of Kissimmee residents commute to jobs outside the city
  • More than a third of residents work in the tourism or services industry (2)

What's Smart About Commuter Rail

  • Mobility option to I-4
  • SunRail is expected to carry about as many passengers as one lane of I-4 during peak travel times
  • Significant travel time savings expected during peak periods, especially as growth further congests roadways
  • SunRail travel time from Lake Mary to downtown Orlando expected to take less than 30 minutes
  • Uses existing freight track infrastructure
  • Additional right of way acquisition only at station locations
  • Reduction of freight trains improves traffic flow through downtown urban core
  • Crossing gate down time much less than freight trains
  • Establishes the spine of a regional rail network linking four counties
  • Allows businesses, research and education centers to tap into a geographically broader talent pool
  • Returns 20 cents of every dollar motorists now pay in federal gas taxes for transit projects to create new mobility options in Central Florida
  • Reduces costly trips to the gas pump
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