Some city leaders say Lynx backing out on SunRail promise



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Some city leaders are upset that Lynx is refusing to oversee a bus service that was promised to help make SunRail successful.

Last fall Lynx received a $3.5 million grant to plan for FlexBus.

Channel 9's Lori Brown discovered that the service may not be able to get off the ground without Lynx' help.

FlexBus is an innovative, on-demand bus service that would guarantee a rider a bus in just 12 minutes, instead of waiting at a bus stop.

The service would operate in four cities: Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Longwood and Casselberry.

But Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said Lynx is not keeping its word to oversee the service.

"It's very disturbing. We've worked with Lynx over a year, they've been on board with us the whole time," said Schieferdecker.

Around 17,000 people drive to the Maitland Center each day. The mayor said those business professionals are not going to trade their cars for the rails if it means they'll have to take a fixed-route bus to get to the train stop.

"SunRail is coming. Without transportation to and from SunRail, it's not going to work," said Schieferdecker.

"Lynx told their board they were going to deploy the system, and we expect them to do exactly what they said they would do," said Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz.

A Lynx spokesperson said while assumptions may have been made the agency only agreed to deploy the technology for FlexBus but never committed to oversee the bus system itself.

With SunRail set to start next year officials said time is running out.

"SunRail is going to come. We need to get the transportation to and from these stations period," said Schieferdecker

Each of the cities as committed to paying half of the funding for FlexBus. The Florida Department of Transportation would provide the other half, for the system's first year of service.