MAITLAND, Fla. - WFTV uncovered a problem that’s left some SunRail riders stranded.
Bus routes meant to take people from SunRail stops to business centers skipped over one of the area’s largest employers, the Maitland Center.
City leaders said the problem has kept a lot of people from riding SunRail to that stop.
Boardings in Maitland are the lowest for city stops.
Last month, the station had 3,200 riders board, compared with the one in Winter Park, which had 17,000 people board.
Patti McRorie and her kids got stuck waiting in Maitland during mid-day SunRail service.
“You need a little more something out here. You’re kind of stranded, no way out,” she said. “You’ve got to take it somewhere else. That’s no help at all.”
When SunRail launched, the Florida Department of Transportation paid for Lynx feeder buses to most of the main business districts along the route—all except Maitland Center.
“They just dropped the ball with us. They need to make it right,” said Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
Schieferdecker said 17,000 employees are working at Maitland Center, but those could-be riders have no incentive to hop aboard the train, because there’s no direct bus route to get them the last few miles.
To take a bus from the Maitland station to the Maitland center, a rider would have to head south, in the opposite direction, all the way to Winter Park Village, before waiting for a second bus to go back north.
With stops along the way, it would take about an hour to get to the Maitland Center, which is only a few miles from the SunRail station.
“I can walk there faster. It’s only 2 1/2 miles,” Schieferdecker said.
FDOT leaders said they need to study ridership data before funding another stop, and Lynx officials said they presented their own options to the city, but the city would have to foot the bill.
There’s a meeting July 18 with Congressman John Mica, Lynx officials, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and FDOT leaders to resolve the issue.