Updated:WINTER PARK, Fla. —
In less than two months, central Floridians will have another way to get around. The SunRail commuter train service is scheduled to begin operations
on May 1.
Winter Park is ready to take on the new passengers with a new station that opened Monday.
Winter Park station is one of 12 stops along the SunRail route. It will also be a stop for Amtrak as well.
Mary Henry said she has waited since she moved to Winter Park to ride a commuter train like she did when she was living out of state. She's already making plans to ride it.
"I can't wait until they run a leg to the airport," said Henry.
Winter Park spent its own money to add a building to house SunRail and the Amtrak station. It was an upgrade to the platforms the state built for the commuter rail.
The train service could be solution to the city's big problem of drivers finding a parking spots along the city's main drag.
"We'll relook at the parking again once SunRail opens to see who is using SunRail as well as what parking opportunities that creates," said Winter Park Mayor Kenneth Bradley
Channel 9's Racquel Asa learned that not all of the stations on the 32-mile SunRail route are as far along as Winter Park's.
Officials said stations in Longwood and at Orlando Health are 85 and 87 percent complete.
Florida Department of Transportation officials said it still needs to fix wiring to the ticket machines and finish up parking lots. FDOT said everything will all be done by the May 1.
Once SunRail and Amtrak start using the new platforms Winter Park officials said they will knock down the old Amtrak station and turn it into green space.
Bradley said the city is still working on trying to establish a quiet zone so the train won't have to blow its horn while going through the area. He said he hopes funding for that will be in place by the time the second phase of SunRail starts.