Starting the week the Florida Department of Transportation will be running SunRail at their full schedule just without passengers.

According to a press release from FDOT

The testing will continue for several weeks, so that SunRail engineers and conductors are prepared to welcome passengers on board, and so that motorists and pedestrians become acclimated to train operations in advance of regularly scheduled passenger service.

Passengers will be able to start riding sometime in mid-April free as part of a soft launch.

The free rides will run from April 15 to April 25 only during the weekday.

Full revenue service will begin on May 1.

A spokesperson for FDOT tells Bungalower that the testing will help to determine the exact schedule. The press release mentions that “train operations began shortly after 5 a.m….and will continue daily until approximately 11 p.m.”

The train will run every 30 minutes during peak times (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and every two hours during non-peak times.

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  1. The Federal government and states ALWAYS run a deficit. All other nations as well. Conservatives never complain about deficit spending when it’s used to fund some useless, overpriced weapon system costing billions…only complain when funding is “stolen” to provide public transit, education, or infrastructure. The culture of the car is in its death throws…public transport in a much more urbanized America is the key to our collective future.

  2. MighkWilson DavidERose That is taking a very short historical view.  Both the Federal and State gas tax revenues have been ‘stolen” by the respective governments for years and used to cover deficits in the general budget.  Only recently has it flipped the other way – no where near all the money that was taken has been “repaid”, not that there was ever any intention of repaying.  It is not time to end the discussion of subsidies it is way past time to get serious about our financial problems.  The Federal Government is borrowing .40 of every dollar is spends and has run up a debt that amounts to over $60,000 for every citizen, the State of Florida has a retirement system that is overly generous and outrageously expensive and is under funded by billions of dollars.  It is time to have serious conversation about where every dollar government spends is coming from.

  3. DavidERose  David, all transportation is “subsidized.” Highways (except for toll roads) are only covered about 60% by gas taxes and other auto-related fees. The remainder comes from property taxes, doc stamps, impact fees, sales taxes, and other sources.
    So it’s time to stop using the subsidy argument and start thinking about the best ways to fund a transportation system that serves everyone, not just motorists.

  4. Running more hours would certainly be wonderful.  What I wonder is: Who is going to pay for it?  SunRail is already taking millions in subsidy from people that will never use it or benefit from it existence.  That IS the way we do mass transit but is it fair and how much can those unwilling contributors really afford?

  5. Jeffery McClain I too look forward to seeing it run on the weekends. It would be nice to take a ride out to Sanford or Deland, hang out on their main streets for some food and drinks, and then ride it back to Orlando. I’m sure the same goes for people who live outside of downtown and want to spend the day or night in Orlando.

  6. So SunRail finally starts soon. I hope that SunRail realizes that running only during the day from 5 am or whatever to 9:30- 11 pm is NOT going to cut it for many thousands who will want to ride SunRail instead of I-4 at ALL times day and night (we all know that this construction is going to back up traffic day AND night) to and from their jobs that don’t have traditional business hours. Thousands of nurses and doctors at Orlando Health and Florida Hospital don’t work from 9-5. Neither does many of their other staff. I’ve begin hearing people out downtown complain about no service on the weekends already also.
    If this track sharing scheme and limited hours seem pretty short-sighted, wait until this vastly increased amount of rail traffic starts causing its inevitable havoc. All along SunRail’s route, there is no perimeter fencing, almost all intersections with roads place both the rails and the road at ground level allowing reckless drivers to attempt to “beat the train”. Don’t get me wrong…I love the idea of a commuter line and am still excited…I just think “doing it on the cheap” is going to be proven a very shortsighted mistake.

  7. CheriHornsby  Not with SunRail. SunRail is one line from DeBary through Oralando to SandLake. The next part of SunRail will extend the line north to Deland and south to Poincinana.

  8. MighkWilson  The agreement is that SunRail must be off by midnight. But off means getting all the trains back to the depot. We still don’t know when the last train will run. The testing they are doing this week is so they can make minor tweaks to the schedule before they post.

  9. From the SunRail site:
    SunRail is a commuter rail system, which means its primary purpose is to get people from home to work, and then back home again, while providing an alternative to driving I-4 every day. Its peak operating hours are going to be when I-4 is at its worst: 5:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. During those times, trains will run every half hour. During off peak, trains will run every two hours. The last trains will start their trip from the ends of the line between 9:00 and 9:15 p.m. so they can be done and off the tracks by 11:00 p.m.

  10. Please double check the times you’ve mentioned in your article. 4 to 7 pm is not non-peak, it’s evening peak. And are trains really running until 11:pm?