SunRail readies for debut in Central Florida

Commuter rail to start running on Thursday

Local 6: Morning News at 6a
Local 6: Morning News at 6a

ORLANDO, Fla. – The wait is almost over for the highly anticipated SunRail commuter train as service begins Thursday in Central Florida.

Crews are putting the final touches on each of stations, but some still have a little work to do ahead of the grand debut.

Trains have been rolling down the tracks over the past few weeks, and engineers have been practicing making all of the stops, ensuring that SunRail is ready to begin on May 1.

SunRail has been in the works for more than two decades and is the first fixed-rail mass transit system in Central Florida history. More than $1 billion in taxpayer money was used to purchase 61 miles of rail line and all of the other necessities.

The train is an alternative for commuters who make daily trips on Interstate 4 and want to avoid congestion.

SunRail will make 12 stops during its 31.5-mile route, starting in DeBary and ending at the Sand Lake Road location in Orlando.

In between, stops are in Sanford, Lake Mary, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Winter Park and Orlando, which has four stations.

Initially, the train will operate during weekdays, coming by every half-hour from 5:30 to 9 a.m., depending on location, and from 3:30 to 7 p.m. It will also run every two hours during the late morning and afternoon, and from 7-9 p.m.

According to SunRail's website, the Sand Lake Road, Church Street and Longwood stations are 95 percent complete. Most of the other stations are at least 98 percent finished.

From May 1 until May 16, SunRail will be free to ride. After that, a one-way ticket will be $2, with an additional $1 for each county. For example, from the Sand Lake Road location to the Longwood location would be $3.

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