Hate to write this, but it looks like DeLand SunRail extension is dead. Or least it’s probably dead for the next 4 to 8 years.
|Artist mock-up of DeLand SunRail|
We have strongly advocated for that rail extension to the Volusia County seat as that train service was promised as a key part of the SunRail project. The problem has been getting the money needed for the extension.
The Florida Department of Transportation that runs SunRail hoped to get about half of the $70 million it would cost to extend the train service through Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants offered through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Competition for those grants is very tough. So far SunRail hasn’t landed the money it needs.
As you can imagine, Volusia County leaders have been very frustrated by the delays. Currently DeBary hosts the only SunRail station in Volusia.
Now comes word through TransitWire that the Trump Administration plans to cut $449 million from the TIGER grant program. Ouch!
Without the money, the DeLand extension is out of gas. That’s a shame because DeLand SunRail not only improves Central Florida’s transportation network but it also expands economic, educational, employment, cultural and recreation opportunities for thousands of people living along the track corridor.
If we can’t extend SunRail to DeLand, you can forget about riding SunRail to Daytona Beach.
Guess we won't be seeing you on The Rail in DeLand.