Lynx needs to treach SunRail a lesson

The Lynx bus folks could teach the SunRail commuter train executives a few lessons.
Lesson No. 1 is – you gotta be there!
On this past Monday – the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday – SunRail let down the people who count on the train for daily transportation.

As SunRail has done for the past 5 MLK holidays – there was no train service on Monday. It is one of seven holidays when SunRail does not run.
But guess what?
Lynx was on the road – on a holiday schedule – but the buses were running.
We watched Monday morning while two Lynx buses pull into the Meadow Woods SunRail station. Even though the parking lot was empty, there was a handful of people waiting for the buses.
Lynx has many shortcomings that demand attention, but at least the Lynx bus is there and operating 365 days of the year.
We’ve heard from people who use a combination of the Lynx bus and SunRail to get to and from work. When there is no SunRail, their commute time increases by 2 hours or more.
SunRail stops on the fro…

Lynx must not think too much of its drivers

Usually, we write about residents who depend on the Lynx bus for transportation in Central Florida.
But this time we’re focusing on the plight of Lynx bus drivers.
Recently we noticed a Lynx bus sporting a sign announcing that Lynx wants to hire new drivers.

The starting pay: $14 an hour.
Maybe Lynx management (a public agency) isn’t aware of it, but there is a national campaign seeking a minimum wage of $15 an hour for all workers. Lynx’s ridiculous compensation offer may be one of the reasons the agency is so desperate to recruit that it resorted to ads on the side of its buses.
Honestly, $15 an hour isn’t a livable wage. Try paying your rent, utilities, bills and feeding your family on that. No wonder so many people are living in tents and their cars.
We’ve heard some Lynx drivers can’t afford a car. Just like many of their passengers – who can’t afford a car – some drivers ride the Lynx bus to work. Let that sink in for a moment…
The good news at Lynx is after you complete your…

The public needs to sound off Wednesday to improve Lynx bus service

If you have difficulty getting from Point A to Point B in Central Florida, then you should attend a very important meeting scheduled for this Wednesday (Aug. 21).
The meeting was called by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings to discuss transportation -- everything from roads to SunRail and the Lynx bus system.

During his first State of the County address Demings floated the idea of seeking voter approval for a 1-cent sales tax increase in Orange County to help pay for needed improvements to public transportation.
In that speech, Demings said, “I am convinced that now is the time for us to seek multi-modal transportation options that will increase frequency of public transit so more people will use it,” Mayor Demings said.
“Now is the time to collectively arrive at a comprehensive solution that will foster an environment where a transportation network is fully funded. I invite our community to consider support of a sales tax referendum to prepare for the future today. I look forward to lead…

Lynx changes bus stops in Pine Hills

Pay attention if you or your friends ride the Lynx bus in the Pine Hills area.
As of Friday (6/26) Lynx will no longer serve the bus terminal in the parking lot of Park Promenade Plaza in Pine Hills.
Transfers between bus routes will be made at the intersection of Hiawassee Road and Silver Star Road.
·         Link 37 – last stop northbound will be at the new bus stop on the northwest corner in front of Bank of America. Southbound buses will board at the bus stop on the southwest corner by Walgreens. ·         Link 44 – last stop southbound will be at the new bus stop on the northwest corner in front of Bank of America. Northbound buses will board at the bus shelter on Hiawassee Road in front of Popeye’s. ·         Link 48 – last stop westbound will be at the new bus stop on the northwest corner in front of Bank of America. Eastbound buses will board at the bus stops on the southeast and southwest corners. ·         Link 301 – last bus stop westbound will be on the northeast corner in front…

Lynx will be changing some bus schedules soon

Lynx announced that it’s changing some routes, schedules, and even bus stop locations.
These changes go into effect on April 28.

Here is what will happen:
·         Link 155 – The Loop/Buena Ventura Lakes/Osceola Parkway (Osceola County) – The route will now travel between Greenwald Way and Centerview Boulevard via Osceola Parkway.
·         FastLink 407 – Kissimmee/OIA/Medical City (Orange County/Osceola County) – During the morning peak, trips to Lake Nona will first serve the VA Medical Center. Morning peak inbound trips to Kissimmee will serve Nemours Children’s Hospital and the USTA National Campus. Midday and afternoon peak service will remain unchanged, except for minor schedule adjustments.
·         NeighborLink 613 – Pine Hills (Orange County) – NeighborLink zone will be extended north to include the Park Promenade Plaza.
·         Link 61 - LYMMO Lime Line (City of Orlando) – Adding new bus stop on Amelia Street at Terry Avenue.
·         Fast…

We hope Osceola residents will vote to improve Lynx

Great news! Osceola County is taking steps to create a dedicated source for funding that can help both the Lynx bus and SunRail. The rest of Central Florida should follow Osceola’s lead.
On May 21st Osceola County voters will have the opportunity to approve a one-cent sales tax for transportation. If voters support the referendum, money raised by that tax can be used for a variety of transportation improvements from road widening to helping Lynx and SunRail.

That’s outstanding. Please vote "for" this referendum.
Lynx is catastrophically underfunded. Right now, the Florida Department of Transportation is helping to fund SunRail. In 2 years that becomes the responsibility of local governments.
Public transit – Lynx and SunRail – don’t raise enough from the fare box to fully pay operating costs. If government didn’t subsidize public transit, people would have to pay up to $14 for a one-way ride on some Lynx routes.
No public transit system in the world can pay for operations solely…

Lynx riders were the big losers when the bus CEO resigned

Lynx bus CEO Edward Johnson is gone, but not forgotten.
Though Johnson had some shortcomings, we believe that he tried his best to improve public transit for thousands of Central Floridians.

Ultimately, Johnson’s departure will hurt riders the most. It could take six months or more before a permanent replacement is selected, and then that person faces a learning curve to understand the system and all the political players.
Much has been said about the $21 million deficit at Lynx, we think it’s important to note the technology innovations the bus system added under Johnson’s leadership to improve the rider experience.
Those include: ·Mobile-fare collection (paying with your smartphone) ·Real-time bus tracking app ·Free wi-fi on all the buses
As for the $21 million deficit – that’s what happens when you try to provide transit service to a sprawling metro area when your agency is catastrophically underfunded and doesn’t have enough people, equipment or other critical resources.
In an interview la…