Volusia Co. SunRail expansion may be hitting road bump

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Plans to expand SunRail in Volusia County might be hitting a road bump.
 
The project did not receive a federal grant needed for the project. 
 
SunRail leaders and Volusia County say they had been counting on money from a federal grant to cover half the $70 million cost of the leg. 
 
Everyone involved found out Thursday that they would not be receiving the 35 million from the feds to expand the commuter rail 13 miles north to Deland
 
Volusia County and the state, which operates SunRail, were expected to pick up the remainder of the expense.
 
Low ridership estimates are to blame. 
 
200 passengers a day from Deland were expected to ride compared to 560 who take SunRail out of Debary.
 
The Osceola Link, approved last month, is expected to transport 2,000 people a day which is more than half of the daily average of 3700 SunRail has logged during its first 18 months of operation.
 
Volusia County Chairman and SunRail board member Jason Davis says it's been hard to compete with the other proposed expansions. 
 
 Volusia Chairman Jason Davis said, "Everybody's been talking about the extension or the spur off to the Orlando International Airport which would generate about 20 thousand riders a day so when you put 20 thousand up to 200, it's really not a question."
 
U.S. Rep. John Mica said he is trying to organize a meeting in DeLand on November 10th with Volusia County leaders and SunRail officials to devise a new strategy.
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