Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Don't expect much from #SaturdaySunRail

By now you know that #SaturdaySunRail is scheduled to operate on Nov. 5th.

Like you, we’re gun shy after the first attempt at #SaturdaySunRail got blown away by Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 8th. Then we learned that there wouldn’t be Saturday service for a month.

Despite the disappointment, we strongly urge all Central Floridians to take advantage SunRail on Nov. 5th. SunRail’s long-term survival depends on ridership – lots of it.

To avoid the frustration expressed by so many after officials admitted that despite earlier statements SunRail service would NOT be offered on “most Saturdays” we want to set expectations low.

#SaturdaySunRail is funded by Team SunRail – a public-private partnership – not the Florida Department of Transportation which operates the train. The Saturday train is being provided to benefit large-scale events – mostly in downtown Orlando.

The most important advice we can offer riders and would-be riders is pay close attention to the Nov. 5th schedule (for arrivals and departures) because the Saturday train does not run like the New York subway, or weekday SunRail.

For example, we know people want to ride SunRail to Winter Park’s fantastic farmers’ market. Forget it. On Nov.5th SunRail won’t make its first stop in Winter Park until 2:36 p.m. The farmer’s market closes at 1 p.m.

Still, it’s not as though Winter Park rolls up the sidewalk after the farmers’ market. We can think of countless things to do Saturday afternoon and evening around Park Avenue. In addition to Winter Park, there are many other places to visit – eat, drink and have fun -- along the SunRail corridor at the Church Street, Florida Hospital, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary and Sanford stations.

The schedule could certainly be a lot better, but there is one big plus. The last scheduled northbound SunRail train  departs downtown Orlando after midnight Saturday and completes its run in DeBary at 1:18 a.m. Sunday. Though that late service is not as good as the #LastCallTrain we’ve proposed, it certainly offers some hope for downtown Orlando’s party people.

Let’s make good use of the train on Nov. 5th, because as of Wednesday afternoon, we don’t know when #SaturdaySunRail will be offered again.

See you on The Rail.

No comments:

Post a Comment