More than half a billion dollars are being invested in a commuter rail transit project that will connect four counties. Government officials say the Sunrail Project is ready to launch.
The project will run along a 61-mile stretch connecting Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola County.
Congressman John Micah says that SunRail will provide an alternative to congested roadways and rising gas prices.
“Coming up I4 today it was bumper to bumper,” Micah said. “Gas prices have also increased again. I have seen dramatic increases in Florida, so we have great motivators for Sunrail.”
Congresswoman Corrine Brown says the project will not only make transportation easier and affordable but also provide jobs during hard economic times.
“Transportation is the engine that puts people to work, for every billion dollars we spend it generates 44,000 permanent jobs” Brown said.
The project expects to generate 250,000 construction and operation jobs and an $8.8 billion economic impact throughout the next 30 years.
“Everybody talks about jobs. We go back and that’s all anybody talks about, we’re doing it today. We’re putting people to work” Micah said.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says the Sunrail Project will be completed in two phases. The first 31-mile phase will link DeBary to Orlando and Phase two will link north to DeLand and south to Poinciana.
“This is the dawn of a new era in transportation, smart growth and job development in our community” Dyer said.
Congresswoman Brown says their goal is to connect the entire state of Florida.
The first SunRail train is expected to start running by May 2014.