May 28, 2008

Dear Lynx, be exceptional

Lynx will host a public hearing today to solicit public comment about proposed bus route adjustments (reductions.) The hearing will take place at Lynx Central Station, located at 455 N. Garland Avenue in downtown Orlando (click here for map/directions), 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Here's my comment: Start over. Not just with the targeted routes, but with ALL routes. And in starting over, use a different criteria for route selection.

Currently, the system of bus routes in Central Florida are designed (1) to cover as much geographic area as possible, and (2) to do so with as low headway as financially feasible. In that order. That's backwards! Lynx should first commit to having 20 minute headways on ALL fixed bus routes, without exception. Then, they should cover as much geography as financially feasible. It's better to have a more compact bus system that is exceptional than to have a mediocre system that pleases everyone.

That's not to say that only downtown Orlando should be served. All three counties in the Lynx system (Orange, Osceola and Seminole) can be served through subregional circulators, which can then be connected together by express bus routes. But the primary criteria always should be frequent service, and that starts by establishing a 20 minute benchmark for route selection.

That's my comment. If you can't attend the public hearing, you can share your opinions online at www.golynx.com.

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