Thursday, April 7, 2016

SunRail ridership disappoints

SunRail ridership is supposed to be going up, not down.

Yet when you attend SunRail meetings, like the Technical Advisory Committee talkfest this week, the SunRail bosses sound so cheery when talking about how many people are riding the train.

NEWS FLASH: The total January, February and March 2016 average ridership was 736 people lower than the same three months in 2015. (See the accompanying chart of average daily ridership) Yet the SunRail bosses act as though the decline makes perfect sense. Gas prices are lower and there was bad weather, they say.

Then bosses at the LYNX bus system say, they noticed the same decline and agree with SunRail on the reason for the decline. That’s bull. The overwhelming majority of people who rely on LYNX don’t have a car, so they aren’t affected by gas price fluctuations or bad weather. When those bus riders need to get somewhere they’re forced to use the bus.
As for SunRail, did they ever consider what getting rid of the #NightTrain in December 2015 would do to overall ridership?

We know lots of people who really enjoyed using SunRail at night to travel to and from events along the corridor and in downtown Orlando. Now that the train service ends so early, they can’t use SunRail. Duh!

SunRail’s ridership problem is easy to understand and fix. Provide service at the times when people want it – hourly during the day, late at night and on the weekends – and they’ll have no shortage of riders.

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