SunRail Ridership at All-Time High After Southern Expansion
Florida is the third most-populated state in the country with the 19th largest economy in the world and continues to grow. More than 600 people move to the state each day and more than 126 million visit annually. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) provides a safe transportation system that fits the needs of Florida’s residents and visitors.
SunRail is the Orlando region’s first-ever commuter rail and first large-scale mass transit project. Since the system was launched in 2014, commuters have depended on SunRail as an efficient way to travel. In summer 2018, the second phase launched, expanding service into southern Orange and Osceola counties, an area most impacted by congestion. The expansion included four stations and 17 additional miles, bringing the service area to 49 miles, covering 16 stations.
To prepare the public, FDOT initiated an education strategy for potential riders – including disseminating information to more than 13,000 households, providing bilingual train tours, and surveying riders and businesses to align travel times with other transportation options.
The Southern Expansion is exceeding expectations. Ridership increased over 78% since the expansion and, on some days, total ridership numbers are double those of when only the first phase was in operation. SunRail recently reached its 1.5 millionth passenger.
On-time performance typically exceeds 95% and most riders report they are very satisfied or satisfied with SunRail. SunRail’s Transit-Oriented Development impact is estimated at $3 billion. Research has shown the increase in property values has generated nearly $20 million of property tax revenue and connectivity partners have increased with the expansion of bike-sharing, scooters, ridesharing, shuttles and trolleys at/near SunRail stops.
SunRail continues to enable citizens in Central Florida to have a premiere transportation choice, and FDOT is committed to providing a transportation system that fits the lives of Florida’s residents and visitors.