Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SunRail prepares for operating debut

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SunRail regional rail service will make an official debut Thursday, May 1, 2014, serving the Orlando, Fla., metropolitan area, one day after state and local officials marked the launch of the service Wednesday at a ceremony.

The 32-mile first phase portion of the route includes 12 stations. Preview rides on the line were scheduled for the public Wednesday as part of the celebration.

SunRail service will be free from May 1 throough May 16 as an introductory measure. Florida's Department of Transportation anticipates an initial ridership goal of 4,300 passengers per day.

Last year FDOT tapped Bombardier Transportation to provide operations and maintenance services for SunRail, also dubbed the Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit project, worth about $195 million. SunRail passenger fleet includes 20 Bombardier BiLevel rail cars.

In November 2011 FDOT completed its purchase of the full 61-mile SunRail right-of-way in central Florida from CSX Corp. for $150 million.