will begin next week on Oct. 8 during Come Out With Pride Orlando, when more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the festivities downtown.
At a Thursday press conference, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the pilot project will run on most Saturdays from October to February. Dyer added that the Saturday service will be coordinated to provide transportation for big events, like Orlando Magic games or the upcoming Garth Brooks concerts, and there will be some flexibility on schedule times depending on the event. SunRail has struggled with increasing ridership
, though transportation officials have started a "Try The Train" campaign.
"If you ask any of the commission members or sponsors what the No. 1 question they get about SunRail is, it's about expansion of services, when are we getting it on Saturdays, when are we going to get more frequent service," he said. "It's pretty clear that people want more SunRail."
Sponsors such as Orlando Magic, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health and the Downtown Development Board contributed about $250,000 for the pilot program. Currently, SunRail only runs on weekdays. Dyer says it takes about $20,000 to run the trains every Saturday. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs calls the venture "exciting."
"I suspect that this is going to be so successful that we're not going to be able to stop in February," she said. "We're going to be able to continue the momentum and keep [it] forever on Saturday."
Below is the schedule for the Saturday service on Oct. 8. You can also see it on SunRail's website here
SunRail's newly announced