Saturday, October 31, 2015

Support SunRail, re-elect Orlando Mayor Dyer

If you ride SunRail and live in the city of Orlando, please support the re-election of Mayor Buddy Dyer in Tuesday’s city election.
Dyer certainly is not without his shortcomings, but he is a stalwart SunRail supporter. There are many things he has done behind the scene to keep the expansion moving forward. He currently serves as the chairman of the panel of elected of Central Florida elected officials who oversee SunRail.
This year Dyer is facing a well-financed challenger who is supported by a legendary rail hater (who we won’t even dignify by mentioning by naming him).
All of us are deeply disappointed by SunRail’s limited service, but there’s almost no chance that service will get better without Dyer’s advocacy. This is no time to take a step backwards.
SunRail’s survival and expansion depends on re-electing Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Check out new SunRail schedule

Here is how SunRail plans to revise the afternoon/evening schedule
Southbound departing from DeBary:
1 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 3:30 p.m.; 4 p.m.; 4:30 p.m.; 5 p.m.; 5:30 p.m.; 6 p.m.; 8 p.m.
Northbound departing from Sand Lake Road:
2:15 p.m.; 4:15 p.m.; 4:45 p.m.; 5:15 p.m.; 5:45 p.m.; 6:15 p.m.; 6:45 p.m. 7:15 p.m.; 9:15 p.m.
This new schedule will start Dec. 21.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Don't totally abandon the #NightTrain

We hope the SunRail bosses won’t throw out the baby with the bath water when they address the fate of the #NightTrain.
We applauded SunRail late last year when the train bosses introduced the #NightTtarin as an experiment, with a last southbound run departing DeBary at 9:05 p.m. and the last northbound run departing Sand Lake Road at 10:20 p.m.
Unfortunately the overall #NightTrain ridership has been mostly disappointing – only a couple of dozen riders. We need to note, however, we have heard from riders – mostly those working for modest wages in the service sector – who really appreciate the #NightTrain service because they need it to get home from their jobs.
Notice we wrote ridership has been “mostly disappointing”. On a Monday night when there no special events along the SunRail corridor there were barely a couple of dozen riders on the #NightTrain run.
However on nights when there were major events, such as a big concert, or athletic events being held in downtown Orlando, the ridership was very healthy. It would be a shame if the Sunrail bosses simply cut off all #NightTrain service without regard for the folks who HAVE been riding SunRail on the busy nights. That’s why we hope they don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
SunRail needs to hold on to all the ridership it can.
For many people, those special events may be the only time it’s convenient for them to ride SunRail. Granted SunRail is not a theme park attraction ride, it’s a public resource and it needs all the supporters it can get because one day within the next 5 or 6 years Central Florida residents will be asked to pony up the money to keep SunRail running. We’ve yet to meet someone who has actually ridden SunRail who doesn’t think it’s a valuable investment in Central Florida’s future – unless they own a downtown parking lot, or they enjoy traffic jams.
During the past few public meetings, SunRail bosses have telegraphed their intention to re-direct the resources from the #NightTrain to provide more service during the middle of the day where there are some schedule gaps as long as 2 ½ hours.
We understand that decision, but we also urge SunRail to find a way to keep running a later train on certain evenings when there are major events on the SunRail corridor.
Many other commuter lines, such as Tri-Rail in South Florida run trains to support major events.
In addition, we think it makes good sense to run a late train every Friday evening because the existing #NightTrain does get pretty good use on Friday nights. We met many people who ride on Friday nights when they stop off after work for drinks with colleagues, or date night with spouses and significant others.
Central Florida aspires to be a world-class community. We need to start providing world-class transportation options.

See you on The Rail.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What does Taki 183 mean to you?

Graffiti was a big part of the New York City subway experience back in the 1970s when we rode the train to school.
During that era “Taki 183” was the most ubiquitous graffiti tag in the city. It was everywhere on the trains, buses and subway walls. We always wondered: What did it mean? Who was making that mark?
Turns out “Taki” the nickname for a kid named Demetrius who lived on 183rd Street in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Taki 183 triggered an explosion of graffiti across the city’s 5 boroughs and beyond. That graffiti pioneer even inspired the movie Turk 182.

Thank goodness SunRail trains and stations remain untouched by graffiti, but just for fun during the SunRailRiders MeetUp on Wednesday, we’re going to have a graffiti wall for riders to leave their mark. Click here for details and free ticket.