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SunRail Leans On State To Help Pay Operating Costs

SunRail trains at Winter Park station. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
SunRail trains at Winter Park station. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Central Florida’s commuter rail system relied heavily on state subsidies during its first year of operation.

Fares paid for about one fifth of SunRail’s operating costs.

SunRail cost a little over $34.4 million to operate in its first year.

Fares brought in $7.2 million, and the Florida department of Transportation chipped in $27.2 million.

Congressman John Mica championed the introduction of SunRail, and says it’s important to look at how many people use the service.

“Well certainly the first year is the most costly," said Mica, adding the commuter rail had "actually pretty good ridership numbers and they’ve increased."

"What we saw reported was actually over the year, but ridership has grown," said Mica.

FDOT reports more than one million people hopped aboard SunRail in its first year.

Mica says he’s more concerned with a lack of connectivity- allowing people to easily get to and from the train stations.


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