Monday, April 30, 2018

Major route and schedule changes proposed for Lynx bus

Many service changes are proposed for Central Florida’s Lynx bus system this summer.

Several substantial changes are being made to bus service in South Orange County and Osceola County in coordination with the expansion of SunRail train service from South Orange to Poinciana this July. There are also some schedule adjustments being proposed for Seminole County.

Public hearings on these changes will be held later this month in Orlando, Kissimmee and Altamonte Springs. Check LynxTogether Events for more details. People can also make public comments on these changes by visiting www.golynx.com and leave your thoughts at the “Contact Us” page.

Those comments will be received through May 30.

The Lynx board will approve these changes during their meeting May 24. The approved changes will go into effect July 15.

Here are the proposed changes

NEW ROUTES

·         Link 155 – The Loop/Buena Ventura Lakes/Osceola Parkway (Osceola County) – Will operate between Buena Ventura Lakes and The Loop shopping area via Osceola Parkway serving Tupperware SunRail Station. Service every 30 minutes during weekday peak period only.

ROUTE ELIMINATIONS

·         XpressLink 208 – Downtown Kissimmee Express (Orange County/Osceola County) – Eliminate service.



ROUTE ADJUSTMENTS

·         Link 1 – Winter Park/Altamonte Springs (Orange County/Seminole County) – Routing from Altamonte Mall will operate via SR 436, Westmonte Drive to Wymore Road. Minor schedule changes.        

·         Link 18 – S. Orange Ave./Kissimmee (Orange County/Osceola County) – Extend route into Meadow Woods SunRail Station. Minor schedule changes.

·         Link 103 – North 17-92/Sanford (Seminole County) – Change morning routing to operate via Bush Boulevard to serve the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

·         Link 306 – Poinciana/Disney Springs (Orange County/Osceola County) – Extend route into Poinciana SunRail Station. Change evening route to operate via Seralago Boulevard and U.S. 192 to Poinciana Boulevard. Minor schedule changes.

·         FastLink 418 – Florida Mall/Meadow Woods/Lake Nona (Orange County) – Eliminate service along Sand Lake Road, Orange Avenue and to the Sand Lake SunRail Station. Operate via Orange Blossom Trail and Wetherbee Road, extend into Meadow Woods SunRail Station. Minor schedule changes.

·         NeighborLink 604 – Intercession City/Campbell City (Osceola County) – Extend route into Poinciana SunRail Station. Change time point from Orange Blossom Trail/Pleasant Hill Road to Poinciana SunRail Station. Minor schedule changes. Adding additional trips to meet evening SunRail trains.

·         NeighborLink 631 – Buena Ventura Lakes (Osceola County) – Extend route into Tupperware SunRail Station. Eliminate time point at Valencia College Osceola Campus and change to Tupperware SunRail Station. Minor schedule changes. Adding additional service to meet early morning SunRail trains.

·         NeighborLink 632 – North Kissimmee (Osceola County) – Extend route into Tupperware SunRail Station. Eliminate service to Kissimmee Intermodal Station. Eliminate time point at Valencia College Osceola Campus and change to Tupperware SunRail Station. Minor schedule changes. Add additional service to meet early morning SunRail trains.



SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS

·         Link 15 – Curry Ford Road (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 23 – Winter Park/Springs Plaza (Orange County/Seminole County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 26 – Pleasant Hill Road/Poinciana (Osceola County) – Adding 5:10 a.m. and 5:40 a.m. trips from Poinciana Walmart to Kissimmee Intermodal Station on weekdays. Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 34 – Sanford (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 42 – International Drive/Orlando International Airport (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 45 – Lake Mary (Seminole County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 46W – W. SR 46/Seminole Towne Center (Seminole County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 104 – East Colonial Drive (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments

·         Link 111 – SeaWorld/Orlando International Airport (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 426 – Poinciana Circulator (Osceola County/Polk County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 434 – SR 434 Crosstown (Seminole County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         Link 436N – SR 436 Crosstown (Orange County/Seminole County) – Minor schedule adjustments.

·         NeighborLink 652 – Maitland Center (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lynx can make Poinciana SunRail a winner

Will the Poinciana SunRail station be a winner or a loser? Making it easy for people to get to the train station is key, and Lynx plays a big role in that equation.

The experience of the last four years has shown that the end of the line stations – DeBary and Sand Lake Road – have been two of the busiest in the SunRail system. DeBary – the only SunRail station in Volusia County gets passengers from the Votran bus system. The Sand Lake Station in south Orlando is supported by 6 Lynx bus routes.

Bus loop at the Poinciana train station


At this writing, the bus situation is not nearly so bright for the nearly completed Poinciana station. That station at the intersection of Old Tampa Highway and Poinciana Blvd. is in Osceola County, relatively close to Polk County.

In case you’ve never been there, the Poinciana station that will become the southern end of the line for SunRail is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. (OK there is a Home Depot, a soft-drink bottling plant, a Wawa and an ice-cream-stand nearby.)

What concerns us is that currently the Poinciana station will be served only by Neighborhood Link 604. That bus circulates mainly in the Intercession City and Campbell City area near the station. As it is a Neighborhood Link you must call 2 hours in advance to arrange for pick up.

Under a contract with Polk County, Lynx will provide the only bus (Link 416) for Polk County residents to reach SunRail. That bus (Link 416) will carry people from Haines City to the Lynx Super Stop at the Poinciana Walmart. At the Super Stop, riders would transfer to Link 26 to take them to the intermodal station in downtown Kissimmee where people can catch SunRail, Lynx, Greyhound, and Amtrak.

The problem is that neither SunRail or Lynx offers service that is convenient to use.

Blame the local, state and federal elected officials because there is no dedicated source of funding to subsidize our local public transit – Lynx and SunRail.

All public transit throughout the world relies on government subsidies. Passenger fares only pay about 30 percent of the operating costs. Roads, highways and even airlines rely on government subsidies.

Until politicians find the courage to provide adequate funding a reliable people who rely on public transit will continue to receive janky service.

There is some good news. Currently, Osceola County, Lynx and the state Department of Transportation are discussing the possibility of offering additional Lynx bus service to connect more people to the Poinciana SunRail station.

What other changes would you like to see Lynx make in Osceola to make better use of SunRail?