Thursday, September 22, 2016

Open letter to SunRail's new CEO

Dear Ms. Nicola Liquori,

Congratulations on your new role as SunRail CEO. We wish you every success!

Some riders were dismayed that you don’t have a passenger-rail background. We appreciate their concern, but we’re not overly worried because strong leadership can be as important as detailed technical knowledge and experience. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower led Allied forces to victory in World War II even though he never personally commanded soldiers on a battlefield.

The areas of focus that you detailed at the September Technical Advisory Committee meeting make sense. However, we were disappointed that customer satisfaction was not listed among your priorities.

SunRail ridership continues to sag because customer satisfaction is not -- and has not been -- a top priority.

Specifically, we call your attention to the train schedule. SunRail is almost completely useless unless you’re going to a traditional Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job.

What about the caregivers at Orlando Health (ORMC) and Florida Hospital? They don’t work a traditional schedule limited to weekdays.

How about the thousands of people who work at Orlando International Airport and in the hospitality and tourism industry? That’s a pool of thousands of prospective riders who want to use SunRail, but they can’t because of the train’s awful schedule.

We’ve been waiting two years for a real leader. We hope that’s you.

Please pay attention to what current riders -- and would-be riders -- are saying (especially the hospital caregivers). Don’t be misled by SunRail’s high-priced consultants. If they knew what they were talking about SunRail’s problems would have been solved long ago.

No service on weekends and holidays; no late-night service, 2 ½-hour service gaps during off-peak hours just don’t cut it. Those deficiencies are huge customer dis-satisfiers. You don’t need a Madison Avenue marketing guru to figure that out.

The schedule needs to be fixed now, not in five years. Waiting any longer will guarantee SunRail’s failure.

Fix SunRail’s schedule, extend service to DeLand, and your success will be guaranteed.


SunRail riders


  1. Well said. " a traditional Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job." does not exist. If SunRail continues to run to serve "a traditional Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job", neither will it.

  2. I am a rider of sunrail. I take the train every week on my day off to Debary from Orlando. I have to wakeup at 6am to make it in time for the feeder buses to deland. I slowly work my way from deland to daytona beach. It takes 3 to 4 hours 1 hour by train and 3 hours by votran this includes a 45 minute layover in deland and another 45 minutes to travel to deland. Once in Deland votran takes 40 minutes by bus me to Daytona Beach. If the sunrail went to Deland my trip would be cut in half and you could transport people between Daytona and Orlando in 2 hours total travel time by train and votran. This is why ridership is low no one wants to spend 4 hours travelling to Daytona but make it go to Deland then have an express bus waiting to take people to Daytona or link up with bus 60 which already goes from Deland to Daytona at the Deland sunrail you will have the ridership you need and Deland station will be one of the busiest stations because everyone going to Daytona has to come through Deland. Deland is Daytona's backyard and you can link up Orlando and Daytona via Deland. In addition the buses taking people from Daytona to Deland will also provide public transit to the Deland Amtrak station. Right now there is no public transit from Daytona to Amtrak. This would benifit everyone and I xm someone who lived in Orlando and can see that. Its not about Delands ridership its about all the riders you will get going back and forth between Orlando and Daytona via Deland. If people are able to travel in a 2 hour or less travel time instead of 4 hours from Debary to Daytona you will have all the riders you need.