Clean Air Commute Blog: Up & Down the Tracks with SunRail

Posted on: May 29, 2019 in Air Quality & Environment

About half of MetroPlan Orlando staff members get to work some way other than driving alone – at least one day a week. As we close out the month of May — recognized as Clean Air Month, a time to examine how habits affect the environment – some of our staffers are sharing stories from their commutes.


Today’s commuter stories comes from Keith Caskey, Manager of Planning Services, and Joe Davenport, Fiscal Manager. Keith and Joe regularly use the clean air commute strategy of riding SunRail, but they take advantage of the service differently. Keith makes the kind of trip we often associate with the regional rail line — catching a train almost 15 miles from his destination and avoiding a long, tense drive to and from downtown on I-4. Joe only travels one SunRail stop to get to work. But several afternoons a week, he takes SunRail more than 10 miles north to the gym he prefers to use for weight training — conveniently located near the train station. Sometimes in the afternoons, Keith and Joe even ride the same train north. Here are Keith’s and Joe’s stories:

Part 1: Keith’s Suburban Connection

I have been a regular SunRail rider for all five years it has been in operation.

I feel very fortunate to be able to ride SunRail to and from work each day. The Longwood SunRail station is only about a mile from my home, and MetroPlan Orlando’s office is just a block from the Church Street station, so it is very convenient for me to use.

Riding SunRail to work and home is much more relaxing than driving. While waiting for the train at the station, I sometimes chat with other riders and have gotten to know some people that way, at least a little bit. While riding on the train, I enjoy using my iPhone to read, check email, listen to music, etc., or I can just look out the window and enjoy the scenery.

It’s good to know that I am doing my part to help reduce traffic congestion when I ride the train. Another benefit is that riding SunRail greatly reduces my car’s gasoline consumption and general wear and tear.

Overall, I am very happy to be able to ride SunRail, and hope that the service can be expanded to include weekends, so other commuters and leisure riders can benefit from SunRail as well.

Part 2: Joe’s Short Trip to Work & Timesaver to the Gym

I live and work in downtown Orlando, and I use transit a lot.

Every morning I catch the SunRail train at LYNX Central Station and get off at the Church Street Station. Even though the ride is short, I’ve managed to make a new friend who works in the SunTrust Tower. I also often see a co-worker coming from Winter Park on the train.

After work I take SunRail to the gym three to four nights a week. I work out at Ironclad Gym a couple of blocks from the Altamonte Springs Station. The reason I train at that particular gym, is because of the environment. I am a National Physique Committee (NPC) Men’s Physique Competitor and I need a gym that caters to competitive bodybuilders and powerlifters. This one suits my needs.

If it were not for SunRail, I would not really want to train there, however. Getting to Ironclad Gym by car just seems like too much of a hassle. It takes 25 minutes to reach the gym using SunRail and at least 35-40 minutes by car! You can do the math, so you see that I save a significant amount of time by riding the train.

On weekends and holidays, when SunRail doesn’t operate, I often use another gym that is somewhat closer to home – and I can ride a LYNX bus to reach that one.

Our Clean Air Commute Blog runs through May 31. Previous stories looked at super-commuting & teleworking; and transportation options in Downtown Orlando. Coming up: The Determined LYNX rider. Remember: EVERY MONTH SHOULD BE CLEAN AIR MONTH.



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