Sunday, November 9, 2014

SunRail can make this a world-class community

Central Florida has all the makings of a world-class community.

Last week we cut the ribbon to open the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.

That opening was celebrated last Saturday by an open house for the public and a free concert by Grammy-award winner Sheryl Crow. While that concert was underway on the center’s front lawn, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performed inside. Meanwhile -- just three blocks away from the performing arts center -- the Orlando Solar Bears hockey team played the Greenville Road Warriors in the Amway Center, home court for the NBA’s Orlando Magic basketball team.

There’s so much going on, not just in downtown Orlando, but throughout Central Florida.
But Central Florida still isn’t a world-class community, because we still function like a small town.

Six months ago we launched the SunRail train system at a cost of $1 billion, but it doesn’t run on weekends, or late at night.

SunRail has a station that is within a 5-minute walk of the performing arts center and the Amway Center, but the train wasn’t running on Saturday night when it could have offered a wonderful transportation alternative to the thousands of people who attended downtown events.

In addition to the downtown venues, weekend and night SunRail service opens the door for people to experience a host of other entertainment and cultural venues from South Orange County to Volusia County.

The board that oversees SunRail is scheduled to meet on Wednesday. It would be nice if those officials demonstrated some world-class leadership and put SunRail on a 7-day schedule.

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