Riders take 3-mile walk to protest Lynx bus route cut

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Dozens of people protested the cutting of a Lynx bus route by taking a 3-mile walk on a dark and busy road early Monday morning.

People in Clermont said they want to draw attention to the popular route that Lake County stopped funding last month to save money.

Commuter Celeste Clifford relies on the route to get to her job at Disney.

"It's a very dangerous highway to walk on. No one should be forced to for any reason," Clifford said.

For nearly a month, folks who depended on Lynx route 55 have been without a quick and easy way to work.

Many are hospitality workers in the tourist corridor and others are students.

One commuter walking with the group, Mary Priebe, is legally blind.

"I'm on disability, this is my way to be able to work," Priebe said.

Lake County voted in August to strip tens of thousands of dollars in a cost-cutting move, saying ridership was not high enough.

So Monday morning, the protesters were showing county officials how dire and dangerous the situation is by walking the nearly 3-mile stretch from US 27 in Clermont to US 192 in Kissimmee, which is cut from the Lynx route 55.

Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks also walked the route to see the challenges they face and to discuss possible future options.

"Why did you vote to take away this funding?" asked WFTV reporter Anthony DiLorenzo.

"We didn't have money left in the general fund," said Parks.

Parks told WFTV he and other officials were wrong to leave the riders in limbo.

After an hour walk on Monday, everyone safely made it to the route 55 bus. The protesters said they hope the walk will help restore the route.

Lake County commissioners plan to take up the issue Tuesday and talk about allocating federal funding to hopefully fund the route again in the near future.

"All we're asking for is our bus service back," said Clifford.