ORLANDO, Fla. — The numbers are in: More and more people are taking advantage of SunRail.

  • SunRail ridership up by 30 percent from 2017 to 2018
  • 1,114,859 SunRail riders total in 2018
  • Commission hopes to secure funding for airport station

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, overall ridership from 2017 to 2018 is up by 30 percent. Part of that growth is being attributed to the opening of four SunRail stations as part of the Phase II South expansion.

Eleazar Rodriguez uses the train to get back and forth from work every day. He says he’s noticed an increase in foot traffic at that Kissimmee Station.

“I like the train better because it is faster; I get there in about 30 minutes to get downtown and 30 minutes back,” Rodriguez said.

In 2017, SunRail Reported a total of 851,881 riders. In 2018, that number jumped by more than 200,000 riders, with 1,114,859 riders total.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer serves as Vice Chair of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission. He says this 30 percent increase will only continue to grow as more expansions for SunRail become reality.

“We always anticipated that Phase I would lead to Phase II, and we would have an increase in ridership when we went to Osceola County. So we are now studying how we might eventually get to the airport,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

No concrete plan has been developed for an airport station at this time. Commission members are still hoping to secure funding for the project.

Meanwhile, the number of fatal accidents fell from six fatalities involving pedestrians and vehicles in 2017 to four in 2018. The mayor still cautions the public to be on alert.

“You know where the train is, and you know when it is coming, and you don’t need to be on the tracks, and you don’t need to go around the barriers,” Dyer said.