KISSIMMEE, Fla (WOFL FOX 35) - The demand for SunRail continues to grow. On Monday morning local and state leaders gathered to celebrate phase 2 of SunRail’s south expansion project.
This includes building 4 new stations: Meadow Woods, Tupperware Station off of East Osceola Parkway, the downtown Kissimmee Station adjacent to the current Amtrak station, and the Poinciana station.
“Our ridership is about a B, B+ which is not bad for a startup and we’re really looking forward getting this one built,” said FDOT District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs.
The $187million dollar project consists of 17.2 miles of new rail and will take about 2 years to complete. Passengers can start riding in early 2018.
FDOT believes there will be a huge demand once these stations open. “Poinciana is one of those areas that’s probably undeserved and we believe that area is going to explode as far as ridership goes,” said FDOT’s spokesperson Steve Olson. “We think we have penned up demand here on the Southside. We’re looking at the projected opening day ridership, we’re looking at about 2,000 boarding’s per day on day one and that’s only projected to grow.”
FDOT believes this will help alleviate some congestion on I-4 while giving people other options for transportation. “It just means a better opportunity for people to have more choices,” said Downs.
After this south expansion project SunRail has plans to build 12 miles north. SunRail is currently working to get a $25million dollar federal grant, also known as a TIGER grant to start construction from DeBary to DeLand.