SunRail Ridership Stuck at Low Levels

SunRail long trainAs SunRail enters the final stretch of its second year in service, the commuter train is still struggling to attract new riders. SunRail is servicing less than 2,000 people each day it runs, on average.

According to the February Conductor’s Report, 3,673 total riders, or just over 1,800 round-trip commuters, were on SunRail trains each day. The good news is that ridership surpassed January’s average of 3,318 total riders per day. Last month’s SunRail ridership also bested the same month’s performance a year ago, when there were 3,561 average daily boardings.

The bad news is that SunRail ridership continues to be stuck at low levels. After January’s slight drop, last month’s ridership only climbed back to the same averages as December. February’s ridership numbers are also below SunRail’s first year of service average daily ridership, which was still about 600 short of the 4,300 daily passenger goal.

According to Florida Department of Transportation data, only four new SunRail annual passes were sold in the month of February. That’s not a good sign of new regular ridership. Last month, 539 monthly passes were sold and 300 weekly passes were sold, which could be better indicators of the “regular” SunRail commuter ridership. In addition, 402 reloadable SunCards were purchased.

SunRail ended last year building slight momentum with ridership. The commuter train had an average of 3,664 daily total riders in December. In reality, this appears to be where SunRail’s ridership seems to get stuck – and it is still far from where it should be.

UPDATE: After Mayors’ Pleas, Stunning Drop in SunRail ridership

For more SunRail reporting, covering previous ridership counts, total ticket sales and key updates in SunRail’s history, click here.

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