The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the date Tri-Rail service was launched on January 9, 2019. The SFRTA will mark the occasion by having staff on select peak-hour morning trains expressing their appreciation to riders and providing a gift commemorating Tri-Rail’s 30th anniversary.
SFRTA’s new Executive Director, former Palm Beach County Commissioner and daily Tri-Rail commuter, Steven L. Abrams, will also ride the train to introduce himself to passengers in his new role.
“We have become an essential part of the fabric of South Florida, helping residents and visitors travel throughout the region while taking cars off the roads. On this day we want to thank Tri-Rail passengers for their support over these years”, shared Abrams. “On a personal note, I look forward to greeting my fellow train commuters in my new capacity as I continue to ride along with them into the next chapter of Tri-Rail’s service to our region.”
Tri-Rail has carried over 92 million passengers since beginning service January 9, 1989. It has become the go-to public transportation resource for commuters, students, leisure travelers, youth and senior citizens alike. It reaches many popular attractions, shopping centers, corporate centers and educational facilities, regionalizing employment opportunities for all South Floridians, enhancing the area’s economic vitality.
Many riders consider their fellow passengers and train crews to be family. Over the years, Tri-Rail trains have been the scene for holiday parties, wedding and baby showers, and even Thanksgiving dinners. That feeling is, in part, fostered by the longevity of conductors and engineers. The SFRTA salutes five members of the train crews who have been operating trains since day one of service: conductors Juan Fernandez, Barry Eames, and Michael Eames; and engineers Larry Maddox and Andy D’Egidio.
Tri-Rail was conceived as a five-year temporary traffic mitigation measure while I-95 was under construction. The Florida Department of Transportation began planning the regional commuter rail service in 1983. Now operated by the SFRTA, Tri-Rail is a major component of South Florida’s ever-evolving transportation network. The completion of the Double Track corridor Improvement Program in 2006 and the New River Bridge in 2007, enabled Tri-Rail to increase its schedule to the current 50 trains a day on weekdays and 30 trains a day on weekends and holidays. It operates 365 days a year.