choo choo to the zoo kid
PHOTO COURTESY CENTRAL FLORIDA ZOO HAPPY YOUNGSTER — A young man is pleased after visiting the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. The zoo and SunRail recently implemented a free shuttle between the commuter rail’s Sanford station and the zoo. Showing a SunRail ticket entitles the holder to a 20-percent deduction in the zoo’s admission price.

SunRail and the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens recently launched “Choo-Choo to the Zoo,” an exciting partnership that will offer children, families, and animal lovers of all ages a fun way to visit the zoo this summer, without the use (or expense) of driving a car to the popular Seminole County destination.

Leisure travelers can take SunRail to its Sanford station, where they will find a free, “Choo-Choo to the Zoo”-themed shuttle waiting to transport them to the front gate of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in less than 15 minutes. Return shuttle times are timed with scheduled SunRail departures from the Sanford station and posted for customers at the drop-off areas at the zoo.

“Over the last two years, we’ve experienced a surge in leisure ridership on SunRail,” said Florida Department of Transportation District 5 Secretary John E. Tyler. “A partnership like Choo-Choo to the Zoo and others we have developed with sports, music and cultural venues provide affordable, reliable transportation to so many unique events and destinations up and down the SunRail line.”

Funding for the Zoo trolley was made possible by a generous contribution from the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens.

“We are excited for Choo-Choo to the Zoo’s return this summer. It’s a fun, affordable way for families to save while coming to the Zoo. And at a time when we are all dealing with rising gas prices, using public transportation is both an affordable option and a way to reduce your carbon footprint, which is good for the Earth,” said Richard E. Glover Jr., chief executive officer of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. “Choo-Choo to the Zoo wouldn’t be possible without our great partners at SunRail, FDOT and the City of Sanford, and we are grateful to them for offering this program to our community again this summer.”

Choo-Choo to the Zoo will operate until July 29. It may be extended an additional week based on demand. Zoo attendees can show their SunRail ticket to receive 20 percent off their admission to the Zoo.

For additional information and train times, visit

SunRail is a rail service moving people throughout the region by providing work and leisure travel opportunities, connecting communities. The system currently operates more than 49 miles, with 16 stations through Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to more than 300 animals in Sanford. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in conservation, providing experiences that excite and inspire adults and children to learn and act on behalf of wildlife. More information is available at


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