Please take a moment to read and send an email to OC commissioners…
We need you either to attend the Orange County Commission Budget Public Hearing TODAY, Thursday at 6pm in County Chambers or next week 9/18…but even easier SEND AN EMAIL NOW!!!!!! and make your own personal comment on this issue…our Commissioners need to hear from the public that they care about a strong public transit system!
1. CLIP AND PASTE to Mayor and Board of County Commissioners:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Send a personal message after reading below:
call to action: CONVENE a WORKSHOP to evaluate options to ensure LYNX funding enables them to maintain their current level of service.
-Bus ridership up by 6%, even with a fare increase of 17%
-Annual Savings when citizens ride bus versus car: $8,000 which is more than many households spend on food for a year
-Average wait time between buses NOW: one hour to one and a half hours
-Lynx is one of the few major metro transit services without a dedicated funding source, and is one of the lowest funded in the nation in our size market.
-Fuel increases have rapidly increased Lynx expenses resulting in a need for budget increase to maintain same level of service
-65% of those Lynx riders who use LYNX to get to work say they have NO OTHER WAY
WHAT THE LEAGUE IS ASKING FOR: We are asking the County commissioners to REQUEST a WORKSESSION to ensure Lynx has the funds it needs to avoid route and service cuts. Even though Mayor Crotty recently released his idea for a dedicated funding source it will not address the immediate shortfall. This proposal if passed by the region’s Boards of County Commissioners and voters would still not equate to the dollars needed to balance a status quo budget for 2009- AND Lynx would not be eligible to receive this money for another two years. Then there is the Federal Funding Formula: if Lynx loses riders and miles driven they also lose federal dollars within the same two year future. A cut in local service will result in a cut in Federal dollars. In the meantime all across the country communities continue to see climbing numbers of ridership as the economy struggles and the cost of gas increases. If our workers can’t get to work…what happens?
For more than 35 years the LWVOC has had a policy supporting a multimodal transpiration system which should be supported with dedicated funding. We are partners with Seminole and Osceola Leagues and want to see this through to success!
Currently Lynx is in a crisis state brought on by increases in expenses of fuel cost, paratransit service demand and labor agreements. In order not to impose major cuts in Orange County to fixed route service, and cuts in night and weekend service – we need a serious influx of new money to Lynx to avert many people’s lives being affected very adversely and our economy being further damaged. Some examples of employers who will be affected include employers in the tourism area, Orlando International Airport, our two major hospital groups (Florida Hospital and ORHS), the Veterans Administration Clinic in Winter Park, the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College, and many small businesses who count on available bus service to bring their employees to work.
PLEASE ASK THE COMMISSIONERS TO CONVENE AN IMMEDIATE WORKSHOP TO ENSURE LYNX HAS FUNDING TO MAINTAIN AT LEAST THE SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE. This is a critical first step. We are calling one on one with Commissioners, but need you to speak as CITIZENS and say I CARE ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSIT and ensuring our citizens can get to work!
This is a short term step. Down the road we are calling for a regional summit, to include Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Volusia, to talk about this issue and discuss a myriad of possible sources for not just meeting our current need but growing a system which includes a great bus system and a great passenger rail system, which will grow over time and serve wide and far the needs of our community. The League encourages research and analysis of funding best practices from around the country to be evaluated in advance of that meeting, so we are using funding formulas that have shown to work and be equitable.
We need your voices to keep the pressure on to not just talk about this subject but do something! Let your voice be heard NOW!
Questions? Click here Lennon Moore
or email@example.com: LWVOC Transportation Co Chair