• Parramore West to see public transportation connection to Thornton Park


    ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV got an early look at some major changes to buses in downtown Orlando a week before Lynx breaks ground on the project.

    Channel 9's Daralene Jones learned officials finally have the $10 million in federal money they need to expand the Lymmo bus service from Parramore West to Thornton Park.

    The expansion might not be welcomed by everyone, however, as it will turn some current driving lanes to bus-only lanes.

    The routes will run along Central Boulevard and Church Street between Westmoreland on the west and Summerlin on the east.

    “I notice a lot of people around here walking and riding their bikes, so I think if it's in their loop that they would join in on the public transportation,” said supporter Nancy Jones.

    However, new numbers show Lymmo ridership is down about 10 percent from last year.

    Officials argue the expansion will draw a total of 8,000 riders who will have a direct connection to the Amway Center and eventually the new Performing Arts Center and Creative Village.

    Lymmo buses typically have a dedicated lane on the road, and that will happen on the west end in Parramore, because one of the three lanes will be used for buses.  

    But as you head east toward Thornton Park, there’s not much room to add a lane specifically for buses, but that doesn't bother Mike Heinzman, who managers Hue restaurant and is anxious to see growth in his bottom line.

    “It will draw more traffic from downtown to some of these streets and avenues that are a little bit away from downtown,” Heinzman said.

    The groundbreaking is set for next Wednesday.

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