Bithlo to get scheduled Lynx bus service



BITHLO, Fla. - Lynx will soon be running scheduled bus service to parts of east Orange County that have been without for nearly five years.

Don Ricigliano said he is dependent on public transportation.

"It's my only means of getting anywhere," said Ricigliano.

But to use it requires planning. He said he has to call two hours in advance and hope it arrives on time. Using his wheelchair on the side of Colonial Drive is far too dangerous.

"Right now, you have to risk your life just to maneuver around this community. To go to the grocery store could be life or death while you're walking or riding your bike," said Bithlo resident Tim McKinney.

To increase service, Lynx is planning scheduled stops that will run every 90 minutes. It will still maintain call-ahead service for the Wedgefield area.

There are four dedicated stops along the 7-mile route that will run from Alafaya Trail to the Bithlo Health Center. It will be the first time a scheduled bus has stopped at the center since its opening a year ago.

"Will Orange County have to pay to provide this new hybrid bus service? It's cost-neutral, and it's better than having to put new buses out there, eliminate service or reroute service," said Lynx representative Matt Friedman.

Because Lynx will be using the same smaller buses and keeping to the same area, it will still cost around $250,000 a year. That means Orange County won't have to pay extra money for the stops.

"Without it, I would be trapped. I'd be stuck," said Ricigliano.

Before the new service can go into effect, the Lynx board of directors has to approve the service addition. It is expected to do that at its meeting next week.