Friday, August 8, 2014

SunRailRiders - Petition drive to expand service to weekends and late night

SunRail is perfect, except for two things: It doesn’t run on the weekends, or late at night.
The most common SunRail question we hear is: Why can’t SunRail service be expanded to weekends and late-night hours?

The Florida Department of Transportation officials who manage SunRail say they don’t have the money to expand the service. That’s a shame. It seems odd to create a public transit system that only runs on weekdays. That’s like buying a new pair of sneakers, but only providing shoe laces for the right sneaker. Sure, you can walk in those sneakers, but it’s not easy.

Many people don’t work a traditional Monday-to-Friday schedule. Two of SunRail’s major stations are at Metro Orlando’s main hospitals – Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional Medical Center. How many people would go to a hospital where doctors, nurses, other health-care professionals and support staff, only work Monday through Friday?

The current weekday-only schedule prevents SunRail from reaching its full potential. Weekend service would encourage more people to keep their cars at home on the weekend while enjoying cultural and recreational events from DeBary to Lake Eola; visiting a sick friend at Florida Hospital, or having dinner with relatives in Altamonte Springs and Longwood.

Let’s also remember that we have many senior citizen residents who really shouldn’t drive long distances. Weekend service on SunRail would be a godsend to seniors.

Late-night trains offer a transportation alternative to people who have been enjoying “adult beverages” at restaurants and clubs on Orange Avenue.

Every car left parked on the weekends saves energy and helps protect the environment.
Expecting SunRail to run 7 days a week doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Just last month St. Paul, Minn. began service on its Metro Green Line train system. It runs 7 days a week.  Closer to home Tri Rail in South Florida – almost identical to SunRail – operates 7 days a week. Metrorail in Miami runs 7 days a week. The Metromover people-mover rail system in downtown Miami runs 7 days a week. The Jacksonville Skyway people-mover runs 7 days a week. Even the Hogwarts Express at Universal runs 7 days a week!

SunRail fans shouldn’t have to settle for “can’t.” The United States is a can-do nation. We’ve cured dreaded diseases and put men on the moon. Surely we can find a way to run SunRail 7 days a week.

We think expanded service is worth trying. If you agree, please sign the attached Change.Org online petition to expand SunRail service hours to the weekends and later at night.

Click here to sign the SunRail petition


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