Church Street SunRail Station 2

The first day of SunRail service yesterday allowed passengers to test out the commuter rail service for free. Free service will continue for the until May 16.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation said passenger demands exceeded expectation.

According to the Sentinel the service saw over 10,000 passengers yesterday, more than double what is expected during regular service.

The morning commute saw full trains used mainly by commuters, and arriving on schedule. Free service also saw the use by riders for leisure/day trips; riding from DeBary to Sand Lake Road and back again, which created crowding on the off-peak trains in the latter morning and early afternoon hours,” FDOT spokesperson Steve Olsen said in a written statement.

Passengers reported on social media that because of the demand they were left waiting on the platform.

“Some trains were filled to capacity—which made for some delayed runs and passengers waiting at platforms. Some passengers were evidentially unaware of published schedule times showing that off-peak could be as long as two hours between trains at the stations,” Olsen said.

Olsen says that  these issues were due to the “novelty of the first day, and because the service is free”.

They are urging riders to check schedules and make certain they understand the difference peak and off-peak times.

“We look forward to day two of SunRail service,” he added.

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  1. Very frustrating! Ended up taking a cab back downtown.
    The most annoying part was hearing the excuse that the trains were too crowded. They were not crowded. If you can find a seat on a transient train it is not even near crowded!

  2. Needs to also run on weekends as well as during special events at the Arena or downtown.

  3. Too bad they didn’t think to use the 4 parked trains yesterday when making the first impression for many people. Not reacting yesterday left many people frustrated, thinking the service is too slow. I’m glad to see they are reacting to the heavy use in the first few days.

  4. Well, that’s one problem. They other is that during the middle of the day it doesn’t run often enough.

  5. the problem is that it’s a free preview. it’s a soft opening and can’t be expected to be reliable until May 19th when it opens for paying riders only.

  6. They are saying they will now have trains on standby if it’s over crowded…but yes I think they should go from every 30 min to every hour. Not from every 30 min to every two hours.

  7. I walked to my nearest station to get on a train at 10:40-something to go downtown for some appointments. They made a couple of announcements that the train was full and we might not be able to get on. But the train was also 20 minutes Kate, so I walked home again, drove downtown and spent $6 to pArk. Frustrating. I know it was the first day, so I assume they’ll get it right. I do hope they make the midday trains run more often. They’re so infrequent now that they’re almost pointless.