Lynx may cut bus route to Walt Disney WorldLeah Zanolla | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 | Updated: Oct 3, 2012 - 11:07:48 PM
A Lynx bus line that serves Walt Disney World may be on the chopping block. Currently, the Link 111 route runs every half hour from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World, with several stops in between. Only 20 percent of the riders stay on the route past International Drive to go all the way to Disney. To operate the route costs $2.5 million a year, but fares only add up to $300,000 a year. This discrepancy hadn't been an issue until now, because Disney had been partially funding the line. According to the Orlando Sentinel, "in 2008, Lynx, Disney and the Florida Department of Transportation set up a deal in which the state would pay Lynx $4.9 million, coming from transportation fees that Disney had paid in recent years to offset the impact its development was having on area roads. Disney also agreed to pay Lynx another $1.25 million spread over five years." This money subsidized not only the Link 111 route, but several other Lynx routes servicing Disney.
Disney is no longer willing to pay for the route. Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius said, "We have fulfilled our agreement with Lynx. We have carefully evaluated the route and determined it is only utilized by a small number of Disney employees." Disney did call on the Florida government to come up with the money, and was successful in getting a $1.2 million line into the state's budget. However, Florida Governor Rick Scott has vetoed this budget item.
The proposed route would have the buses running from the airport to SeaWorld, a change that would only cost $700,000 per year; in 2013, Orange County will pay $690,000 of that amount.
Public meetings are being held this week to discuss the changes and get riders' feedback; Lynx will vote on the issue November 8.
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