SunRail recruits riders by pitching to employers

February 2, 2016

By Mark Harper, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

It didn’t take long for Sandy Ward to adapt.

Ward has driven to downtown Orlando from her Deltona home for much of the last 30 years, but now she uses SunRail, checking email and reading.Website Insert 5000 New Seats copy

“It really is nice,” she said. “I think I have a lot less stress, honestly.”

But Central Florida as a whole has yet to fully embrace commuter rail. A federal-government projection that 4,300 riders would tap on and tap off the train daily in its first year proved high. With paid ridership a key revenue-generating source for the 20-month-old system, SunRail officials have embarked on a new marketing effort to convince more people like Ward to make the switch.

The marketing campaign has involved putting rider-submitted selfies on billboards along some of the most congested parts of Interstate 4, to get the attention of commuters stuck in traffic, and giving away Star Wars Pez dispensers on the release date of “The Force Awakens.”

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