Orlando City Soccer President Phil Rawlins is a gentleman and a scholar.
About two weeks ago on this blog we posted an open letter to Mr. Rawlins suggesting that Orlando City Soccer make Orlando history by paying to run SunRail on a weekend for the first time on Sunday, March 8th – when the team will play its opening day match.
While we never heard directly from Mr. Rawlins, he did respond.
It was announced today that the team worked out a deal to provide SunRail service on March 8 to help fans get to the match at the Citrus Bowl.
It’s also noteworthy that on that same day the Orlando Magic will be playing the Boston Celtics at the Amway Arena. Parking and traffic in downtown Orlando are sure to be a nightmare, so SunRail service will be a huge help.
This is historic because up to now SunRail only runs Monday to Friday – though everyone has been pleading for weekend service since the train launched May 1, 2014. March 8 will be the first time SunRail provided passenger service on a weekend.
The Orlando City Soccer news broke on the same day the organizers of the Winter Park Art Festival announced they will provide SunRail weekend service during that annual event on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.
These are phenomenal developments and they provide a great opportunity for all Central Floridians to show how they would use the train if was available every weekend.
Past demonstrations, such as our #RideBlkFri campaign, overwhelmed SunRail with enthusiastic riders who took the train to go shopping, going to parks and visiting friends.
These large rider turnouts are essential to help persuade local officials to find local dollars to keep SunRail rolling every weekend for leisure riders and for those who need to train to get to work on the weekend.
We can’t tell you how grateful we are to everyone who is making it possible to operate SunRail for the Orlando City Soccer opening day and during the Winter Park Art Festival.