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Agreed.  I hate that people make things for PEOPLE about politics.  There is no partisan divide on things that help all of us.  I don't care if you're rich and never ride a SunRail train.  The pe

Just heard Downtown Kissimmee to Downtown Orlando will be shorter than a 30 minute trip.    That’s fantastic!

https://www.transit.dot.gov/ntd/ntd-data The FTA released their monthly update of transit ridership for August, the first month the southern expansion was open. Sunrail ridership increased 70% fr

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I really think ridership will be a slam dunk.

1) Commuters are already doing it from Clermont and Orange City on LYNX Express Buses into downtown Orlando. These have higher fares than the normal bus but are desirable because they run on the highways (Turnpike and 408 for Clermont and I-4 for Orange City) so they don't stop every block and get people to work in a reasonable amount of time......

.....That said, they are still buses which means they get stuck in traffic like everyone else. They are also very under marketed. Say what you want about SunRail, but everyone knows it's coming.

2) Aside from that Orange City commuter bus, Sunrail will be the only connection from Volusia County into the tri-county area. Even those 2 hour gaps in service during off-peak hours will be a lifesaver for anyone wanting to go from somewhere near the line to Orlando International Airport. Right now they would have to leave at 7AM even if their flight was afternoon or evening. There is a private company, DOTS (Daytona-Orlando-Transit-Service) that finds it profitable to move people on this route, so that's a good sign.

3) In what will possibly be viewed by critics as a self-serving move for SunRail ridership, there are plans to do a lot of work on I-4. Increased delays will help ridership. Any combination of traffic and toll increases on 417 will also help ridership.

4) I know they have a skeleton schedule right now for service....but there's no way this thing won't service Magic games.

^^ All of these scenarios/thoughts aren't taking into account future buildout around SunRail stations. Obviously that's where the long term paradigm shift will occur with possible car-optional living

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I really think ridership will be a slam dunk.

1) Commuters are already doing it from Clermont and Orange City on LYNX Express Buses into downtown Orlando. These have higher fares than the normal bus but are desirable because they run on the highways (Turnpike and 408 for Clermont and I-4 for Orange City) so they don't stop every block and get people to work in a reasonable amount of time......

.....That said, they are still buses which means they get stuck in traffic like everyone else. They are also very under marketed. Say what you want about SunRail, but everyone knows it's coming.

2) Aside from that Orange City commuter bus, Sunrail will be the only connection from Volusia County into the tri-county area. Even those 2 hour gaps in service during off-peak hours will be a lifesaver for anyone wanting to go from somewhere near the line to Orlando International Airport. Right now they would have to leave at 7AM even if their flight was afternoon or evening. There is a private company, DOTS (Daytona-Orlando-Transit-Service) that finds it profitable to move people on this route, so that's a good sign.

3) In what will possibly be viewed by critics as a self-serving move for SunRail ridership, there are plans to do a lot of work on I-4. Increased delays will help ridership. Any combination of traffic and toll increases on 417 will also help ridership.

4) I know they have a skeleton schedule right now for service....but there's no way this thing won't service Magic games.

^^ All of these scenarios/thoughts aren't taking into account future buildout around SunRail stations. Obviously that's where the long term paradigm shift will occur with possible car-optional living

I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but I see this following a very well worn path to disaster. Frequency and schedule are EVERYTHING when it comes to successful commuter rail. Many other commuter rail projects have based ridership assumptions on thoughts like these, and many have failed. The fact is peopel WON'T take commuter rail in an environment where it is not already at the top of their minds as a transportation option unless it offers significant convenience. Connections to the airport - no. No one is going to wait two hours for a train to come, or even worse risk missing a train altogether if the flight is delayed. And where do you put your bags, and get from home to the rail station in the first place? Games? Only if you are close to the train station, AND they run special game trains. Even then a lot of people are going to shy away from public transportation for late night games. And if trains are not at the ttop of many people's minds, getting around Orlando is so easy by car they will automatically just jump in and start driving.

The big risk here is that ridership might not be all that high if this is what you are relying on. If proponents get too obsessed with these ridership figures and they don't materialize, they become stunned and unable to respond. This is when opponents step in to tank the project, and then use that as a further example of why figures proponents post are unbelievable.

The fix to this, of course, is to not look at ridership as an immediate thing but a continuous improvement process. Know where yo start out, accept it is not going to be super high, and then keep promoting increases in schedules and frequency to bring those numbers about. Put the burden on the opponents to prove why their funding limits that limit the number of trains is not hurting ridership levels. Make sure commuter train travel is always upfront in people's minds. Point to where things ar enot perect - and what needs to be done to fix and improve those situations that will ultimately make commuter rail successful. The hard work has just begun - once the project has been built and service starts is when you have to work hardest on selling the idea.

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Games? Only if you are close to the train station, AND they run special game trains. Even then a lot of people are going to shy away from public transportation for late night games. And if trains are not at the ttop of many people's minds, getting around Orlando is so easy by car they will automatically just jump in and start driving.

I think running special events trains will be a must. Just this past 4th of July weekend I think many would have taken it, not to mention the potential for Magic games, Florida Music Festival, the parades, future DPAC events, and - with a special bus - Citrus Bowl events. It'll be tough to schedule, but I would imagine something like two trains before and two after an event would be a good start.

The fact is, most people I talk to about downtown seem afraid of it. They don't like one-way streets, they don't feel safe parking in random neighborhoods, and they think the only place to park is in the $20 Amway Center garage. I honestly think the average family might even enjoy parking their car at one of the stations outside of town (for free) and taking the train in. A lot of families (i.e. not regular train users) do it in places like Chicago and even on the more recent light rail in Minneapolis. It takes away the stress of driving downtown (which, believe me, a lot of people have) and adds a bit of out-of-the-ordinary to an already special event.

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The big picture is that SunRail is the likely precursor to a statewide intercity rail program. Its correct utilization will be key due to the likelihood that someone other than Amtrak will be used to run the commuter service (due to Amtrak holding the project up for almost a year on liability grounds). Hence, this other operator could be asked by the state to run a more marketable statewide Florida passenger system.

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There has been a crew putting steel panels into the ground about 20 feet from the railroad tracks at a site on Highland Avenue across from the lake and prep school. It is a plot of undeveloped land just north of the water treatment plant parking lot.

Does anyone know if this is related?

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There has been a crew putting steel panels into the ground about 20 feet from the railroad tracks at a site on Highland Avenue across from the lake and prep school. It is a plot of undeveloped land just north of the water treatment plant parking lot.

Does anyone know if this is related?

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xpress - not sure how to private message but I wanted to let you know your blog link in your signature was wrong. I figured it was groworlando.blogspot.com and checked it out. Nice job with the blog!

Hey Steve,

Thank you for letting me know, it should be correct now. I am glad you like my blog, I hope the community will be well informed thumbsup.gif.

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The news is that Florida Hospital is building a new HQ on property right next to the planned station location and also adjacent to one of the parking garages. It didn't look like there is enough space for the building as it was drawn, but I'm sure it will fit since they had a rendering already done up. I don't have a photo ready, since I am waiting on some video to load onto my computer. Everything else was talking about the different people involved in the entire process and how they came together to make this happen which is what was expected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm guessing the construction of the corridor and clearing for parking lots and station platforms are going to be starting in the next month. I've been seeing some activity over in the Lake Mary area, but very minimal.

Anybody have anything to post on what's been going on at the Florida Hospital station location? Anything new yet since the groundbreaking ceremony?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • sunshine changed the title to SunRail

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