ORLANDO, Fla. — On the heels of its fifth anniversary, SunRail is marking another milestone this week: Central Florida’s commuter-rail system is rolling out its first app for mobile devices.

  • SunRail's new smart phone app cost $200,000 to produce
  • App aims to allow management of accounts on the go, plan trips
  • Rollout detailed in recent meeting of rail commission committee

“Folks will be able to plan their trips a little better,” Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson said. The app aims to make it easier for riders to manage their online accounts while they are on the go.

The process of moving money from a bank account to replenish a SunRail card, for instance, will be easier through the mobile app than it is now, Olson said.

Currently, people using SunRail on their mobile devices get the desktop version of the agency’s website. That version is hard to navigate on a mobile phone.

The rollout of the app was detailed at a meeting Thursday of public officials from across the region who advises SunRail’s governing board.

SunRail's new smartphone app cost $200,000.

The technical experts, the governing board and citizen advisers, along with anyone who has signed up for SunRail text alerts, will get a link to the app.

“We are then going to wait 48 hours,” Mark Calvert, a SunRail subcontractor called Winter Park-based Evolve Management Group, told the technical committee. “We want to do our due diligence, work with our backend partner, understand the kind of traffic patterns and kind of customer feedback and everything like that before we roll it out to the general public on Thursday.”

The performance of the app will be measured, and feedback from the public will be examined Friday and over the weekend, Calvert said. Staffers will regroup Monday and examine feedback trends to fine-tune the app and discuss an outreach plan for the public.

SunRail launched launch service on May 1, 2014, opening a 32-mile system with 12 stations in three counties: Volusia, Seminole, and Orange. The system made 34 trips daily. Last summer, a southern expansion into Osceola County added four new stations: Poinciana, Kissimmee/Amtrak, Tupperware, and Meadow Woods.

Now, the system stretches 49 miles and has 16 stations. It's up to 40 trips daily.