The next phase of SunRail may be put on hold. The extension project is currently set to take the commuter rail south to Poinciana and North to DeLand. However, the project is dependent on funds from the Federal Government.

They need about $126 million federal in order to complete the project. Now that the project was not specifically listed in President Obama's budget the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission is regrouping.

We asked Sunrail Spokesperson Steve Olson if they thought the project was officially on hold. 

“Well, we are at the point where we are asking what does this mean? And how is that going to affect us?” Olson said.

In the past the federal funds came from a specific grant listed in the budget. Now they believe the funds will fall under a not-rated projects fund. Which means they will have to find out what the new criteria is and how they can apply.

“We need to figure out how to meet the new mandates that they have so they can move this project forward,” Olson said.

Local lawmakers have also said they will work to make sure this project stays on track. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and a senior member of the House Transportation Committee said in a statement:  

“I am certain that in the end, we will come up with the necessary funding to move SunRail forward. We have worked too hard, for too long, to allow for any issues to detract from SunRail’s rapid advancement, which already benefits thousands of daily riders in Central Florida.”

“We are fairly confident that we will be able to work this out. We have people both regionally and locally working on this.” Olson said.

As of now their plans for Phase II extension are moving forward. They are looking to see if they can apply for the funds in a different way than they have done in the past.