SunRail has announced it will be ending it’s text service this week in favor of sending out alerts regarding Orlando’s commuter rail through it’s app or Twitter.
This is a decision I believe sets us back in regards to providing information about public transportation services to Central Florida.
Our conflict here is that many older riders are still unfamiliar with phone applications and social media, while lower income riders don’t have data services on their plan. This is includes phone users under government assistance who have to purchase a data plan separately.
Yet, we’re still moving forward.
SunRail is struggling with safety conditions at it’s railroad crossings and a lack of connectability for riders to and from their stops. Now they’re eliminating another lifeline to information about it’s services. This as many local government in Central Florida, including the City of Orlando, try to lure more riders away from their cars.
Another question is why?
Why are we eliminating this service? Is it because we’re trying to financially streamline the operation? Is this service having monetary problems? I don’t know.
I do know that when SunRail came online a few years back, they were pushing an experience that could be easily accessible to everyone.
This is not the kind of experience they’re delivering to the riders this time around.
My solution is to keep the text messages. If money is an issue, then find a sponsor for the service. Either way it needs to stay.
We should all be tired of public transportation taking things away, especially when they’re regularly asking for more tax revenue for their operations.