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South Florida RTA celebrates Tri-Rail's 25th anniversary

South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) officials, as well as area business and community leaders recently gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tri-Rail.

The commuter-rail system launched service on Jan. 9, 1989. It was created as a five-year traffic mitigation program during an Interstate 95 construction project. Today, Tri-Rail serves as "the permanent spine of South Florida's public transportation system," according to a press release. SFRTA, which operates Tri-Rail, now runs 50 weekday and 30 weekend trains on the route, which serves such cities as West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Since its inception, Tri-Rail has carried more than 70 million passengers and ridership now averages more than 15,000 per day. In 2013, ridership increased more than 7 percent.

During an anniversary luncheon, SFRTA officials honored several people they say are key to the agency's success. The Board Member Service Award was presented Marie Horenburger, who has been a member of the authority's governing board since 1994. Ralph Marrinson, one of they key proponents of the formation of SFRTA, was recognized with the Regional Business Leadership Award. Rick Chesser and Jim Cummings were awarded the Tri-Rail Segment 5 Completion Recognition Award, acknowledging their efforts to spearhead the agency's double-track program that was completed in 2007.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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