SUNRAIL Connections Fair at DeBary Station

Submitted by Maggie Ardito on Sat, 02/04/2017 - 17:43

Maggie Ardito and Jennifer Buras at SunRail DeBaryDown by the station, early in the morning - with Jennifer Burns of Votran, Courtney Reynolds of reThink Your Commute and lots of other people - SunRail Riders and  representatives from DeBary, Sanford and all the cities and stops along the SunRail.   We were all there to spread the word about the great connections between the SunRail, the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop, and the many local transportation options and places to visit along the SunRail.  

Courtney was kind enough to print up 100 flyers for the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance for distribution at the event.  As you may know, the Alliance is a new organization struggling for funding so this is greatly appreciated and helped a lot.   reThink Your Commute is FDOT's resource for commute options, like transit routes, carpooling or setting up a commuter benefits program - and soon (we hope) commuting by bike to the station on the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop.  I had a signup sheet for people interested in helping close the gaps to make DeBary Station accessible by bike, on foot, in a wheelchair or other non-gasoline powered conveyances.      

There were quite a number of people taking advantage of the Saturday SunRail Event.  Many were interested in the trail and and closing the gaps to allow people to directly access the Loop from DeBary Station.  And many people offered to help spread the word about the St Johns River-to-Sea Alliance.  Reginald  Mells, Outreach Specialist with reThink said he is already working with SJR2C Loop Alliance Director Jason Aufdenberg to teach a bicycle safety course in Daytona.  A lot of people interested in trains and trails were there.   I chatted with Steve Tonjes who I know from the DeLand Chamber of Commerce Bike Ped Committee, retired from FDOT and now a consultant specializing in ecology and transportation.  

There were a lot of teachers and children from the Orlando Ibn Seena Academy (motto Reintroducing the love and the light of the Qu'ran, one student at a time.) and they were quite interested in the trail and the idea of field trips by train to the trail, with a picnic at Green Spring Park or later when the Blue Spring Gap is closed, to Blue Spring Park.   The photo at the end is Rehannah who's interest in the trail got all the others interested and willing to sign the petition to expedite gap closure to Blue Spring.  

 I also met Roger Van Auker, TOD (Transit Oriented Development) Marketing Director for the city of DeBary.  (I learned that Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport.)   Roger is planning many attractions and events to attract rail and trail riders to DeBary  including a potential  Farm to Table arrangement.  You can read a lot about TOD at TOD.org and ReconnectingAmerica.org.   Check out DeBary's TOD Brochure at the link below the photos.

Lots of interesting ideas to follow up on, so it was time well spent.