Orlando leaders shouldn’t obsess over Autonomous Shuttles with our current challenges

Right now, in Orlando, as you read these words, we have…

An affordable housing crisis. Families huddled in hotels. Children sleeping in cars.

A problem with violent crime. High profile murders scaring our neighbors and dividing our officials.

Some of the lowest wages in the country, with many of us forced to choose between food or electricity.

This is happening. And do you know where the bandwidth of some of our elected leaders is being used?

On shuttles that drive themselves.

I’m talking about Autonomous Shuttles. We’ve had two events involving these vehicles in the middle of all this chaos in the last month as these problems continue to get worse around us.

Why? How is this helping us?

The truth is that it’s not.

It’s a photo opp that aligns with this desire to do something cool that we just can’t seem to let go of.

And what should really make you frustrated is the additional attention this is taking from LYNX, our public bus system.

Last month, I stood at a bus stop. I was standing there with two seniors because a bag of trash had been ripped open underneath the bench. It took them days to clean that.

But they were there when this currently worthless endeavor took place today.

And I’ll start wrapping this up with an emphasis on currently. This technology does have a place in our future. But it’s the distant future. Right now it’s a toy.

And with all of the problems we have right now, we can’t have our elected officials playing in the toy department.

Too many people are suffering.

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