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Open letter to leaders
Rail commission please read this note
Dear Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission,
Thank you for the successful launch of SunRail.
We love it!
As you know, during the past week nearly 1,700 of your constituents have signed a petition calling for expanding SunRail service to weekends and late nights.
We need you to make the service expansion a top priority, not a long-range goal.
Many of you have positioned yourselves as visionary leaders determined to make Central Florida a world-class community offering a wide variety of high-paying jobs and a fantastic quality of life. But we'll never become a world-class community with a part-time train service.
We know it was very costly to launch SunRail, but it doesn't seem as though we're getting the proper return on that investment when we only run trains on weekdays, even though they're needed 7 days a week.
Operating SunRail on a Monday to Friday schedule works great for office workers. But that seems a little elitist, and we're sure that wasn't your intention. Many of us work weekends; use SunRail to reach Orlando International Airport or to reach cultural and recreation venues.
I'm sure you also know many people in Central Florida can't afford to own cars, or cannot drive. You can't begin to understand how much all of us appreciate Sunrail, but the current operating schedule is inadequate.
We know that expanding SunRail service won't be easy. But that's why you were elected to office. You're leaders who aren't afraid to take on the tough jobs.
We're counting on you to make weekend and late-night SunRail service a priority.
See you on the Rail (hopefully on Saturdays and Sundays)
The Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission Members include: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Seminole County Commissioner Carlton Henley, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Volusia County Chairman Jason Davis and Osceola County Commissioner Frank Atkisson.
July 21 was a very good day.
The petition signed by more than 1,700 of you made a huge difference.
The Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission -- the group of elected officials that oversees SunRail -- directed staff to determine what cost and legal issues would need to be addressed to expand SunRail service to weekends and late-night service.
As you know, everything in government begins with a study. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but it would be unrealistic to expect expanded service to begin in a few months.
The biggest challenge is sure to be money. The officials say their current budget doesn't have money to expand the service. So where does the money come from? There is almost no public transit system in the world that pays for itself out of the fare box. Public transit almost always need a government subsidy of some kind.
Despite these challenges we all know that weekend and late night SunRail service is a necessity, not an option. The best way to keep the pressure on the politicians is to get even more people to sign the petition.
Friday 8:30 p.m. on last southbound train for the week.