Kissimmee residents who need to hop on a train will get to do so within the next two years, when the SunRail’s Phase 2 expansion comes their way.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning in Kissimmee, officials from the Florida Department of Transportation, the city of Orlando, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties and more gathered to celebrate the expansion of the train. SunRail has been touted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs in recent State of the City and State of the County speeches as a hallmark of how the Orange County area is foraging into the future.

The Phase 2 expansion will add 17 miles to the SunRail and add four new stations – at Meadow Woods, the Tupperware Station, the Kissimmee Station adjacent to the current Amtrak station downtown, and the Poinciana station, according to a press release.

According to FDOT Regional Spokesperson Steve Olson, the anticipated opening of the next phase of SunRail could dramatically increase ridership.

“We anticipate that when we open in late 2017 or early 2018, we could expect over 2,000 new boardings,” he said. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand in that area. The streets tend to get congested, and this will offer commuters another option.”

Olson also said the FDOT will finish applying for a TIGER grant, a national initiative to fund transportation projects, to request $25 million to build the second part of SunRail’s Phase 2, expanding the train 12 extra miles north, further into Volusia County.

He said they would know more about the results of their application for the grant money by the fall.

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