SunRail, please bring back the platform Ambassadors to assist riders.
Ambassadors were a great help when SunRail launched in May, and they are still needed.
Sure bringing back the Ambassadors will cost money, but they would have been worth their weight in gold last Friday when service SunRail suspended operations when a dead body was found on SunRail tracks in Sanford. No SunRail representatives were at stations to assist stranded riders.
SunRail needs to launch Ambassadors Program 2.0. SunRail probably doesn’t need to staff all 12 stations with Ambassadors. Just put Ambassadors at the 6 busiest stations, and move them around as necessary.
Also give Ambassadors equipment to communication with train-operations managers. The big weakness with the earlier version of Ambassadors is that they didn’t have a reliable way of knowing about problems in the systems because they were not issued radios, tablets, or even cheap cell phones. Usually they didn’t know any more about delays than the passengers at the station.
In addition to their value during emergencies, Ambassadors are needed to answer questions from riders. Most seasoned SunRail riders get it, but there are new people riding the system every day. People walk up to the station at Lynx Central Station and they don’t know if they need to be on the north or south platform to reach Lake Mary. Or they don’t understand the automated ticket-vending kiosk. The number of new riders continues to grow, and will likely get much larger when the massive Interstate 4 construction project begins next year.
Please bring back the Ambassadors.