Residents in Bithlo push LYNX for regular bus service



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents in Bithlo are making their case for why regular bus service is needed.

They're asking Orange County and LYNX leaders to create a new route.

"It's really unreliable if you have to depend on it for work," said Bithlo resident Don Ricigliano.

He's one of many residents frustrated with the LYNX "by-appointment-only" service.

"I try to call on Friday to arrange for the whole week. When you call, it says there are 10 calls ahead of you. Then to be told they're booked up," said Ricigliano.

Danny Munt lives outside the door-to-door service area, so he walks 2½ miles a day to get to the bus -- and that's after spending time on hold to make an appointment.

"22 minutes on hold with one call ahead of me," said Munt.

As community members in the low-income community asked LYNX for better bus service, the public transit held a groundbreaking ceremony to expand its LYMMO service in Downtown Orlando.

The free Downtown Orlando LYMMO service is funded by federal grants and the City of Orlando.

The expansion will add service from Thorton Park to Parramore.

"By bringing LYMMO into Parramore, it brings access to jobs for the people I represent," said Orlando City Councilmember Daisy Lynum.

Access is something Bithlo advocate Tim McKinney said he's been working with Orange County to get for years.

"I just hope the same can happen in east Orange County," said McKinney.

The CEO of LYNX says representatives will be listening to the community concerns.

"Then we'll work with our partners in Orange County to find the resources to address those needs," said LYNX CEO John Lewis Jr.

LYNX ended its regular bus service in Bithlo in 2009 after facing funding cuts agencywide.

LYNX said ridership in Bithlo was low.