Friday, January 2, 2015

Volusia officials seem to suffer from SunRail buyers' remorse

This is not a new topic. This has been discussed and discussed. State engineers have done their work, now it’s time for Volusia to pony up.

In a way we’re not surprised about this recent outburst of buyers’ remorse. It would be unfair to call Volusia County Council Chair Jason Davis -- who serves on the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission -- a SunRail hater, but considering some private comments we’ve heard him make, he’s no friend.

While the Volusia County Council is whining about whether to pay their share for expanding service to DeLand, Volusia County residents have demonstrated they’re huge SunRail fans. Even though SunRail only has one station in Volusia County, that station is one of the busiest in the SunRail system. The parking lot at the DeBary SunRail station is running out of spaces.

Hopefully the SunRail commission won’t spend too much time dickering with Volusia. If they don’t want to extend the train service to DeLand; fine. Let’s not extend it. Five years from now Volusia officials will wish they grabbed the opportunity when they had it.

Regardless of what Volusia does, we’re eager to see SunRail service extended down to Osceola County. Unlike Volusia Commissioner Davis, Osceola’s representative on the commuter train commission is a strong proponent for mass transit.

Newly elected Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer, who has just joined the rail commission, grew up in New York City and she rode the bus and train to work and school. Many of her constituents rely on public transportation. She understands the importance of reliable, affordable mass transportation. We’re excited to have Ms. Janer join the rail commission.


  1. Can't say that I'm shocked or surprised, but I am dismayed. Votran really doesn't operate in good faith where SunRail is concerned either... last bus in the morning arrives at the DeBary station just before 8... another bus isn't seen there until well after 4 PM. Nearest bus stop to the station is 2-3 miles away. Western side of the county has always gotten the short end of the stick... we haven't seen Sunday bus service in DeBary, Orange City, Deltona or Deland in YEARS. All that is reserved for the coastal communities of Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, etc. SunRail is actually the ONLY way to get out of the county using public transportation. Votran doesn't even come CLOSE to linking up with the public transit systems of even Flagler or Brevard Counties. Pathetic state of affairs.

  2. I was going to say most of what FLGirl said. Volusia County's public transportation, Votran, doesn't match up with LYNX. Not just because of service area, but because of the service. West Side of the county has minimal service, no Sunday or night service, unlike the East Side. SunRail is needed & wanted in DeLand, and I'm not surprised that the County is having trouble deciding if they should pay up or not. I did read an article a few weeks ago about possibly having the Phase 2 SunRail station at State Road 472 & I-4. That actually make more sense than DeLand. The DeLand station will be too far from downtown and where most people live, the option at SR472&I-4 is close to DeLand, and close to Deltona (closer than DeBary). Phase 2 North will be interesting to say the least about it.

    One thing I don't agree with FL Girl about is how close Votran comes to "linking up" with Flagler or Brevard. I don't know about Brevard, but Flagler's transit system is barley a thing. It is all call ahead service, and not reliable at all. If what you're saying about "linking up" as in expanding to include Brevard and Flager, that will never happen because Votran is county owned, so they wont expand to other counties. Same reason why they don't want to pay for SunRail to OIA, it will give county residents an easy way to get to OIA as opposed to easily driving to Daytona International Airport.

  3. Jake, what I meant by "linking up" is at least getting the bus close enough to the county line to be able to pick up public transit from an adjacent county. They whined and moaned about the Lynx 200 Express bus for next to forever (I used to be a regular rider when I still worked). SunRail to OIA actually wasn't hard in it's present state... I've done it.... take SunRail to Sand Lake Road, and pick up the Lynx 111... it has you at Terminal A of the airport in 11-13 minutes, almost no stops... pretty much express.