The frustration with LYNX goes back a long way for me. Decades. Like back when I was in high school in the 90s and the bus would leave me in Apopka when I didn’t decipher it’s unpredictable schedule.
Fast forward to last week, and it happened again.
Orlando’s bus system hasn’t done right by the struggling workers it has to support each day. We’re talking about this embattled organization getting things wrong that hurts the ability residents to support themselves in this harsh Orlando economy.
Here are five things we can do right now to fix LYNX that shouldn’t require too much money (even though the bus system is due to receive federal pandemic funds, and a tax proposal will go before voters next year). And these are fixes that need to be done immediately.
Fix the air conditioner on the buses: Multiple times on long haul routes like Semoran, the AC didn’t work. And your neighbors were riding in an insulated soda can that felt like a sauna after a few minutes.
Fix the App: The app doesn’t sync the buses correctly on the map. This means your bus could look like it’s a half hour away one second, then jump past your stop the next. This means your late for work.
Take better care of the stops: Trash cans at these stops overflow. This brings ants. Ants that bite riders. That’s terrible treatment for Orlando residents that just want to earn a living.
Fix the culture among the drivers: Many LYNX drivers aren’t happy. And it seems like we’re always trying to hire more. There are times when they don’t seem to care very much if they’re on time or not. That needs to change. Treat them better if they’re working hard. Hold them accountable if they’re not Do whatever it takes, because this problem has been going on for some time.
Fix the delays: Delays get people fired. If we have to allocate a shuttle to specifically pick up stranded riders, then do it.
Leaders will say they need more money to do these things. Wrong. These are functions that should have been working properly under their current budgets and instead, have been doing a disservice to the residents.
Many LYNX riders just want to pay the rent. But they are living their lives having to negotiate this publicly funded service that is sometimes an obstacle to them getting to work.