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Our elected officials should be blamed for the Lynx deficit

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No one should be surprised by the recent TV news story reporting that Lynx has a $21 million deficit.
That’s the inevitable outcome when you have a fast-growing 3-county metropolitan region served by an underfunded, poorly equipped public bus system.
Our elected officials – local, state and federal – have ignored Lynx for decades. They’ve never given Lynx the resources it needs and that riders deserve. Now the suits are acting surprised.
The best suggestion some people have come up with to address the problem is laying off drivers and cutting routes.
Are you FRIGGING KIDDING US!
Anyone suggesting cutbacks is both an idiot, and an elitist!
Maybe those Lynx critics don’t ride the bus, but tens of thousands do every day.
For the record: Lynx provides 83,000 rides daily.
Lynx serves Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties with about 300 buses. By comparison, the Orange County school district has 900 buses to serve one county.
Lynx needs more drivers, more buses and more routes – not fewer.
The overw…

Want a fast ride to a Disney job on Lynx?

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Our bad!
A few months ago, we suggested that SunRail’s Southern Extension into Osceola County would make it easy for people to reach Disney by taking the train to Kissimmee where riders could transfer to Lynx bus route 56.
Later we learned the bus ride from the Kissimmee Intermodal Station (used by SunRail and Lynx) to Disney could take an hour or more. In a car, that same ride would take 30 minutes give or take -- depending on the time of day and the traffic.
The Link 56 bus uses U.S. Highway 192 and makes stops so you can see why the trip takes so long.
It would be much quicker if Lynx ran an express bus straight from the Tupperware SunRail station down Osceola Parkway to Disney. That trip takes 20 minutes or less.
Lynx has said it has considered such a route, but that has not been included in the bus service changes that go into effect this month.
People need the bus service now, not some time in the future.
That’s why we’re asking people to CLICK HERE to sign a petition to launch a Lynx …

Even Mayor Dyer doesn't seem to care about Lynx riders

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Not once during the Orlando State of Downtown address last week (Dec. 6) did Mayor Buddy Dyer mention the importance of improving and expanding Lynx bus service.
In a section of the speech Dyer labeled “connectivity” (which you can see by clicking here) he praised the SunRail commuter train. Dyer spoke of pedestrian trails, bike-share, optimizing vehicle flow, and even the introduction of a ride-share hub for downtown’s late-night club hoppers.

But Dyer – a member of Lynx board – did not specifically call out Lynx and the vital role it plays in moving people, especially those who live east and west of downtown Orlando.
Mind you Lynx Central Station sits in the heart of downtown – a stone’s throw from Creative Village – the mayor’s urban renewal pet project in the historically black Parramore community.
By overlooking Lynx -- either unintentionally or purposefully -- Dyer showed why Lynx continues to limp along. Too many politicians don’t give Lynx the priority and attention it deserves.
Po…

Vote like your bus ride depends on it

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Public transit sucks in Central Florida – really in most of Florida – because most of the politicians on the Nov. 6 ballot don’t care about public transportation.
We know this because we embarked on a month-long investigation to survey federal, state and county commission candidates whose names are on Central Florida ballots.


Through the efforts of researcher Robin Denise Harris, we posed 2 simple questions: If elected, does the candidate plan to support efforts to improve and expand SunRail? If elected, does the candidate plan to support efforts to improve and expand Lynx (or Votran for candidates in Volusia County)?
Of the 38 candidates we reached out to (trying several times if candidates did not respond to the first query) 17 candidates answered yes.
Those answering YES included: U.S. House: Darren Soto, Wayne Liebnitsky Florida Senate candidate: Melissa Martin Florida House candidates: Tracey Kagen, Ricky Shirah, Barbara Cady, Geraldine Thompson, Anna Eskamani, Amy Mercado, Carlos Guiller…

Proposed changes coming to Lynx

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Lynx is proposing to add 1 route and make other route and schedule changes on Jan. 28, 2019.
Here's what they're planning:

NEW ROUTE
Link 709 – Kissimmee Connector (Osceola County) – Will operate a one-way loop through downtown Kissimmee from the LYNX Kissimmee Intermodal Station via Dakin Street, Lakeview Drive, Patrick Street, Emmett Street, Church Street, Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Rose Avenue, Oak Street, Central Avenue, Hilda Avenue and Main Street. Route will operate every 30 minutes weekdays 6:30 a.m.-8:09 p.m.
ROUTE ADJUSTMENTS
Link 21 – Universal Studios (Orange County) – The current bus stop on Valencia College Drive will be eliminated. Buses will serve a new stop near the Valencia College Nursing and Fitness Center via Kirkman Road, Valencia College Drive and Receiving Road.        
Link 37 – Pine Hills/Florida Mall (Orange County) – The current bus stop on Valencia College Drive will be eliminated. Buses will serve a new stop near the Valencia College Nursing …

Downtown Kissimmee is getting a new bus route

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A new bus route has been proposed for Kissimmee that would benefit both locals and people arriving at Kissimmee’s new SunRail station.
The proposed route, to be known as Link 709/Kissimmee Connector will make it easy for people to reach some of the most popular destinations in the downtown Kissimmee area.
Tentative plans call for charging $1 to use the Link 709.
The bus will begin its route at the Kissimmee Intermodal Station, which is also where the SunRail train stops.
The intermodal station is a major transfer point for buses from all over Osceola County. Amtrak trains also stop at that station, and that’s also where people board and get off the Greyhound bus.
A press release from Lynx explained that the bus will operate in a one-way loop through downtown Kissimmee via Dakin Street, Lakeview Drive, Patrick Street, Emmett Street, Church Street, Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Rose Avenue, Oak Street, Central Avenue, Hilda Avenue, and Main Street.
This route will make it easier for p…

How come Lynx riders get left in the dust

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Lynx bus riders in Central Florida always seem to get the short end of the stick.
Check out the recent report card on Metro Orlando’s transportation that the Orange County League of Women Voters just released. Click here for the report.
Overall the report was good. The league gave the transportation network and local leaders a D grade. We give the league a B for their report.
Just like everybody else, the league report seemed overly focused on improving and expanding rail transportation – SunRail -- and connecting that train system Orlando International Airport.
Those are noble concerns, but let’s get real.
SunRail now provides 5,300 rides daily. Lynx provides 83,000 daily rides – 15 times the number of SunRail.
We’re not putting down SunRail. We’re just stating cold, hard facts.
Most of the Lynx riders aren’t headed to exciting destinations like the airport.
They’re going to I Drive to change linens on beds or headed to jobs in theme parks and other thankless tasks that most people wouldn’t…