Lake Co. offering $50K to Lynx to keep Clermont bus route



CLERMONT, Fla. - Lake County will offer Lynx a deal to keep its buses that make the run from Clermont to Orlando on the road.

The popular route is set to be canceled over a shortage of funding.

Oct. 18 is the end of the line. And the people who parked their cars at the bus station to take the bus will have to get behind the wheel again if they plan to get to Orlando.

Lake County residents who take the Lynx bus from Clermont to Orlando know the route's days are numbered. But the county commission will now make a pitch to save it.

Commissioner Sean Parks rode the bus Monday, and found out from riders why it's so important: Most either work or go to college in Orlando.

"I think this route works," Parks said.

A few months back the county cut its $168,000 annual subsidy of the service, Lynx then announced it was canceling the route.

"You're going to encourage people to move to Orange County, because Clermont -- everybody works in Orange County. There are no jobs in Clermont," Parks said.

After complaints from dozens of riders, the commission has agreed to offer Lynx a deal: $50,000, cut the number of runs the buses make each work day and raise the monthly $70 fare riders currently pay.

It's still a tough sell for some members of the commission who said the original subsidy of the service came out to a few thousand dollars per rider.

"But for that kind of money, if six people shared a car, we could lease them a car," said Welton Cadwell on the Lake County commission.

Lynx is hosting a public meeting with riders in Clermont on Sept. 24.

The county will try to cut a new deal with the bus company before the route is to be canceled in mid-October.