SunRail's monthly ridership is down

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 6:57 PM EST

SunRail's pilot program for Saturday service has attracted new riders, but the commuter rail has seen a slight decline in overall ridership, officials said Wednesday.

  • SunRail's monthly ridership is down, officials said
  • Saturday service has attracted new riders
  • SunRail will run Dec. 17 for the Cure Bowl 

SunRail ridership and its schedule were a few of the agenda items during the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission meeting at MetroPlan Orlando.

Transportation officials said the Saturday program has enticed new riders, but ridership is down month-to-month.

"We have seen a small trend downward in some of the riders," said Jennifer Horton, a public information specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation. "Part of that is attributed that gas prices have been lower than they had been and part of it is we do have a gap. Scheduling is always our No. 1 concern."

A two-hour midday gap between service impacts shift workers, officials said.

"Where people to go work at 7 a.m. and get off at 3 (p.m.), if there's not a train until 5 (p.m.), they're not going to take the train," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. "We're evaluating if we can adjust some of those schedules or potentially add a train."

SunRail will run Saturday, Dec. 17, for the Cure Bowl taking place at Camping World Stadium. Trains begin at 1 p.m. It's the final Saturday service of the year.

SunRail is also giving away SunCards, Universal Studio passes and more during select days in December.  

It's the last Saturday service of the year.

SunRail is also giving away SunCards, Universal Studio passes and more during select days in December. 

Passengers who ride the train on Dec. 16, Dec. 19, Dec. 21 and Dec. 23 who find the elf in the Orange SunRail Santa hat will get a special surprise, transportation officials said.