Sunday, December 28, 2014

Next SunRail commission meeting will be BIG!

Mark down Jan. 9 on your calendar.

That’s the date when the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission will hold its next meeting. 

Commission members in November
That commission of locally elected government officials oversees the management of SunRail. The commission’s members include Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Seminole County Commissioner Carlton Henley, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Volusia County Council Chairman Jason Davis and Osceola Commissioner Viviana Janer.
In our opinion the upcoming meeting will be the most important one that has been held since SunRail began operations last May.

Four hot topics that are sure to be discussed include:

1.    The SunRail #NightTrain. This new late-night train, which we have campaigned for since July, wasn’t even on the agenda the last time the rail commission met in November. You can be sure commission members will pay close attention to ridership of the train that begins its last southbound run in DeBary at 9:05 p.m., and its last northbound trip from Sand Lake Road at 10:20 p.m.

#NightTrain in Winter Park

Up to this point the #NightTrain is an experiment. If it gets strong ridership it will help us make a stronger argument to expand SunRail service to the weekends. That’s why it’s absolutely critical for each and every one of us use  #NightTrain during the next two weeks to explore and enjoy Central Florida in the evenings during the holidays and after work hours. Don’t procrastinate, ride this week.

2.    Extension of SunRail service to DeLand in Volusia County. State engineers have finished 30 percent of the plans for that extension. However, Volusia County Council members are starting to whine about paying the county’s share of the costs. The money is due on Jan. 3, but county council members are scheduled to discuss this matter on Jan. 8 – the day before the rail commission meets. SunRail is scheduled to start serving DeLand in 2016 – if the money comes through.

3.    Preparations for the I-4 Ultimate project. SunRail was launched to provide commuters with a transportation alternative during the massive 21-mile construction project that will begin in late January 2015 and continue through 2021. Everyone is expecting that construction will prompt more commuters to jump on SunRail. We’re eager to hear about the preparations.

4.    Passenger advisory council selection. Orlando and Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties are expected to name their representatives to this group at the next meeting. Osceola County will name its representatives in 2016 when the train service is expanded down through Kissimmee to Poinciana in 2016. We’re excited that this council is being established to serve as a voice for SunRail riders. If you want to serve, click the name of your local government's representative on the rail commission.

As far as we’re concerned, when it comes to SunRail, the best is yet to come.

See you on The Rail.

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