SunRail's black-shirted platform agents - ambassadors as they're called - may not be around much longer.
One of the agents told me last week that their jobs were ending shortly. Possibly by the end of next week. The agent pointed at a painted warning on the platform asking riders to stay behind the yellow line. "I'm being replaced by that," the agent said.
I've found the agents to be very helpful in the nearly two months they've been on the platforms answering questions, helping with passes and trying to keep the doofuses among us from leaning out over the tracks to get a better look at the oncoming trains.
My one beef is that they didn't seem to know a lot about how the Lynx bus system worked, which is pretty important to people who have to use trains and buses to make their commute work.
On the whole, they've been responsive and mostly cheerful, even when facing the crush of people, many of them hopelessly clueless, during SunRail's sometimes chaotic two-weeks of free rides in early May.
The workers are provided through employment agencies and make about $16 an hour.
A state Department of Transportation spokeswoman wrote: "The program originally was scheduled to end in mid-July; FDOT is currently considering all options, including a potential extension of the program."
The DOT said the program isn't ending as early as next week, as the agent told me, but it is being scaled back to one agent per platform.
Asked about how passengers would get help or information at the platforms if the program ends, the spokeswoman replied that people can go to SunRail.com, call 855-RAIL-411855-RAIL-411 (855-724-5411855-724-5411), use the assistance phones on the platforms, read the kiosk info or, finally, "you can always ask a fellow passenger!"
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