Michael Mills banner ad
mills

SunRail needs our help

0

SunRail’s average ridership stubbornly hovers around 3,700.

Wasn’t average ridership supposed to be more than 4,000 by now?

It’s frustrating to see the ridership stalled like rush-hour traffic on I-4.

Chances are that if you’re reading this article you ride SunRail on a regular basis and you know it’s the most comfortable, efficient and friendly mode of transportation in Central Florida.

We’re the first ones to insist that many more people would ride SunRail if there was a shorter headway between trains. It would be great if trains ran every 15 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours.

It’s particularly annoying that during off-peak hours you might have to wait more than two hours for a SunRail train.

And don’t even get us started about the lack of weekend train service.

Those are serious deficiencies in SunRail service, but we’re not going to begin to resolve any of them until we get more people using the existing SunRail service. It’s far from perfect, but 3 years ago we didn’t have anything like SunRail.

SunRail is doing its parts with billboards along I-4 and other public-information campaigns.

But what are we – the loyal riders – doing to nurture and grow SunRail?

Keep in mind that the SunRail haters love to nitpick SunRail’s weaknesses. It’s our duty to stand up for The Rail.

The other day we were in the supermarket and the subject of SunRail came up. The cashier told us that she was afraid to ride SunRail.

Why?

“People are always getting killed on SunRail,” she said.

Seriously?

There has only been one person killed by a SunRail train — a guy who laid down on the tracks late at night and got run over by a train. There have been a handful of train vs. vehicle accidents. In almost every case the crash could have been avoided if the driver paid attention to warning gates and other signals.

SunRail’s fault?

Hardly.

We’re the ones who ride SunRail. Who is in a better position to share the SunRail experience?

What have you done to tell other people what it’s like to ride SunRail?

  • How much money and time you save by riding SunRail.
  • How relaxed you feel when you arrive at work, compared to when you fought traffic on I-4.
  • How crowded SunRail is during rush hours.
  • How many new friends you made on the train.
  • How many books you had time to read while commuting by train.
  • How easy it is to use SunRail to go to the movies, the theater or athletic events downtown by taking the train.
  • How you and your significant other went on a date night on the train.
  • How SunRail’s on-time record is close to 100 percent.

These are the things we need to share with friends, neighbors and coworkers.

If you love SunRail and you want to see service expanded, here are a couple of things you can do:

  • Refute the preposterous misinformation floating around out there about SunRail.
  • Every week, make it a personal goal to encourage one friend, neighbor or coworker to try SunRail.
  • Take selfies enjoying yourself on SunRail and post them on your personal social-media channels.
  • Encourage your boss to hold an offsite team builder on SunRail. (We’ve even heard of team meetings being held on SunRail.)

Let’s get busy.

See you on The Rail.