The City of DeLand unveiled its new $1.25 million multimodal transportation center, but crucial components have not yet been added, or never will.
A multimodal station is supposed to link several modes of transportation together, but this new station basically only connects cars with a bus. The station is more than 4 miles from where SunRail will stop in DeLand, and a mile from downtown.
Congressman John Mica helped secure the federal grant to build it in 2001 but did not pick the site.
"You have to connect somewhere. The city and transportation department decided on this location as convenient to bring people in and connect them into the system."
Transportation planners are asking people to walk or drive to this station on U.S. Highway 17-92 about a mile south of downtown DeLand, then board a Votran bus. Congressman Mica says two buses will run, including an express bus directly to the DeBary SunRail station.
"It is the link to get to SunRail. Right now it is to the DeBary station. In the future it is to DeLand's station which is yet to be built or to Orange City which is yet to be built."
The other two stations are part of Phase II for SunRail. The station features covered bus waiting areas, and restrooms and ample parking. Eventually bike racks will be added as well.
Congressman Mica hopes that private transportation options like Greyhound bus service and taxi lanes will pop up as the station matures. We asked the Congressman if people would be willing to drive or walk to the station, then hop on a bus to get to a train?
"In order for SunRail to be a success, or just for people to get around the community, thousands of our citizens don't have vehicles, many of them want to work, can't get to work, can't get around the community for basic things like shopping, providing for their families, so this is a connector."
The $1,250,000 station was paid for with federal gas taxes.