“Try the Train” is a promotion that FDOT is pushing to provide an opportunity for first-time riders to try SunRail for free and has been in play since January 1, 2016.
FDOT’s business development team provides companies with promotional materials about the Try the Train program and then gets the employers to recruit participants. FDOT then provides the companies with two one-way tickets per employee. It’s that simple.
Each participant is asked to fill out a post-ride survey to relate how their ride was and for FDOT to see if they have succeeded in wooing them over to riding the train versus driving to work.
According to an email forwarded to us by David Porter of SunRailRiders.com, that he received from FDOT, SunRail is partnering with agencies like ReThink Your Commute Orlando (Website) to promote the new program to downtown businesses. The Mayor has asked them to target larger downtown businesses first and then work their way down.
To date, according to the email, “roughly 100 total companies participating in six Try The Train Days during the first three months of 2016” with over 4,000 tickets having been distributed. Businesses that have participated include:
- City of Orlando
- Florida Hospital (three times)
- Orlando Health
- Bank of America Building
- Orange County Public Schools
- Red Lobster
Of the over 4,000 tickets that have been distributed (that’s over 2,000 riders), only half actually use them. According to the FDOT spokesperson, FDOT is estimating between ten to twenty percent of the participants actually adopt taking the train as full-time riders.
We couldn’t find any information on the program listed on the SunRail website.