Michael Mills banner ad

How SunRail improves lives


By Dani Dennison-Perez

Special Correspondent

Gone are the days when I would sit on I-4 and fume away. I could feel my blood pressure rising each time I would attempt to journey home after a stressful day at work. Even after I changed jobs and my time on I-4 was cut in half, driving along our one and only free interstate is never an easy task. Then I decided to give SunRail a try and my workweek completely changed for the better.

A productive morning

My morning begins in Seminole County. Depending on the morning’s tasks or other activities my SunRail ride can start at a variety of SunRail stations. No matter which station, once I am aboard the train I become productive. Whether it’s checking out work emails, messing around on Twitter, or breaking out the laptop to do some blog writing, the 30 minutes I spend on the train are productive, rather than wasteful time sitting behind the wheel of my car.

Enhanced moods

After a productive SunRail ride, I can feel a spring in my step as I disembark the train and begin the walk from the station to my office building. I almost always listen to music while on the train and sometimes I keep the music going as I walk to the office. I often catch myself strutting to the beat, my mood elevated.

Once inside the office I am that girl. You know the one, saying “good morning” to everyone, bright eyed and bushy tailed.  It must be slightly annoying. But there are a few others in the office who also ride the SunRail and their demeanors are noticeably uplifted as well.

At my desk I have a small collection of meaningful trinkets and decorations. Among these are the ticket from my first SunRail ride and a SunRail squeeze toy. Throughout the day I glance at these items reminding myself that my workday will lead to another pleasant ride that will take me home and allow me to do some more writing or reading.

After an enjoyable, all be it crowded, train ride home, I hop in my car for the short drive from the station to home. Rather than exhausted and stressed, as was the case during my I-4 days, I return home ready to make dinner and do a little straightening up of the house. It’s almost eerie how uplifted I am.

A sense of community

I am getting close to being a SunRail Rider for an entire year. During that time I have become acquainted with other riders as well as some of the SunRail ambassadors at the stations. I’ve also bumped into former coworkers and old friends. There is a sense of community among us.

Sure, the ride home is getting more crowded and many of us wish a third passenger car would be added to the busier train times. I also wish more people would be more conscious of their fellow riders and not put their all their stuff in the seat next to them, but rather allow more seating for others. But I digress. All in all, each of us look at each other with a mutual sense of accomplishment. We made the right choice. Our commute is enjoyable and pleasant. We, the SunRail riders, have enhanced our lives by hopping aboard the train.

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani has always had a passion for tourism and hospitality. When not at her regular job, she loves to explore her hometown and started ThisFloridaLife.com as a tribute to her beloved home state. She also contributes to TouringPlans.com and OrlandoInformer.com

Photo by Dani Dennison-Perez