Lake commissioners hope to fully restore Lynx route 55



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Lynx bus service during the evening hours won't return anytime soon for riders who live in south Lake County, but commissioners are looking for other ways to restore the route.

On Tuesday Lake County commissioners were unable to reach an agreement with Lynx.

Lynx previously restored route 55, which goes from the Four Corners area to Kissimmee, but it still cut the number of rounds trips from 32 to 8. Some people who rely on the bus to get to work said they have no way to get home.

"Expanding hours is really not financially viable for us," Commissioner Jimmy Conner said.

The bus service agency wanted $23,000 to fully restore route 55, but commissioners said the county can't afford that. Now they want to see if Polk County will extend its route and pick up the south Lake County riders.

"The county would fund it; we just have to come up with the numbers," Conner said.

Lynx claims its routes had to be restructured for the new SunRail facility in Kissimmee and it wasn't cost-effective to continue the nightly service.

Some riders told WFTV they have to walk three miles from Kissimmee to U.S. 27 in Clermont to get home.

In October, riders protested by walking the route at night. Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks walked with them.

"I would not want to do it and would not want any of my family to have to make that walk on regular basis," Parks said.

If the agreement with Polk County isn't reached, commissioners said they'll come up with another solution to get the riders home.

"They are not sitting at home collecting a welfare check, they are really trying to work. I'm inclined to help people like that," Parks said.

Commissioners said they're working to schedule a meeting with Polk County officials. They will do a cost-benefit analysis to see if they can afford the partnership.