SunRail's first day of paid trips commences

Monday marks the end of free rides on SunRail

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Hit with a short list of minor problems, SunRail launched its first day of paid commuter rail service on Monday.

After 12 days of free rides, commuters started paying their fares with the morning commute, paying an average of $2 each way with $1 added on for each county they traveled through.

As expected, Steve Olson, spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation, told Local 6 the number of passengers dropped significantly from last Monday due passengers being required to pay.

"We're hoping at least 4,000 paying passengers ride each day," Olson said.

That averages out to 2,000 riders paying for a round-trip ticket.

Riders on Monday were greeted with plenty of places to sit and empty tables to work -- a stark contrast to the standing room only rides that passengers experienced during the free ride trial period.

However, some commuters going to pay their fares of Monday morning experienced some problems at the ticket kiosks.

Olson said some machines wouldn't accept debit cards, some ate cash without dispensing a ticket, while others didn't respond that all.

"We called our vendor immediately to fix the problems," he said.

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