The Obama Administration has included $63 million to help fund the second phase of SunRail, according to published reports.
The allocation falls $22 million short of what SunRail proponents wanted, but will help the start up commuter rail line expand into Osceola and Volusia counties, reports indicate.
“The President’s inclusion of SunRail Phase II is a significant step in moving the next phase of this project forward in Central Florida,” U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said in a statement. “Now State and local leaders must work together to ensure the completion of this of multi-county regional fixed transit system.”
As part of the 12-stop, 32-mile first phase, trains will operate between DeBary, north of Orlando’s city center, and Sand Lake Road in Orlando. The first phase of SunRail is expected to start service on May 1.
The route more-or-less parallels the busy Interstate 4 corridor and connects four Central Florida counties. The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion, and a mix of local, state and federal funds are covering costs to buy right-of-way, make infrastructure upgrades and purchase rolling stock for SunRail.
Officials hope the second phase will open in 2016. As planned the second phase will expand the line to 17 stations and extend to total length of 61.5-miles to DeLand on the north end and Poinciana on the south side.