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SunRail is a disaster

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We’ve declared SunRail a disaster.

The only way to save SunRail is to admit how badly things are going. They say the first step to sobriety begins with an admission you’re an alcoholic.

We base our disaster declaration on academic analysis presented on www.thetransportpolitic.com. Yonah Freemark, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, publishes that website.

Freemark noted that SunRail has the second worst operating effectiveness costs among commuter rail systems in the U.S., according to 2015 figures.

Data shows SunRail’s operating expense per trip is $35.11 compared to $8.47 for the Salt Lake FrontRunner – similar to SunRail in many ways. Click here for more details.

Responding to an email from us, Freemark wrote: “The ‘operating effectiveness’ figure ($35.11 for SunRail) means that it costs SunRail $35.11 to transport each rider.

“Because SunRail collects $2.21 per passenger in fares per trip this means that other sources (public subsidies) must provide $32.90 per trip to support the operations of the train,” Freemark continued, “You’ll note that SunRail is also the worst-performing commuter rail agency in terms of expense per passenger mile ($2.39), which requires the largest subsidy per passenger-mile ($2.24). These figures would be improved substantially with additional ridership.”

Feeble attempts by SunRail and its high-priced consultants haven’t been able to improve SunRail ridership because it’s operating with a half-ass schedule.

Lots of people want to use SunRail. Just check our Facebook page to see the intense demand for SunRail service. But SunRail doesn’t run when many people need it.

It’s no surprise SunRail’s ridership is in a death spiral.

Please end the disaster. SunRail’s management and operations need a major shakeup to provide the service riders demand. We’re tired of excuses and SunRail’s ‘can’t do’ attitude.

Save SunRail because it’s critical to provide transportation options Central Florida needs to thrive.