Reporter

Lynx asking for feedback from elderly, disabled to improve service

Lynx is asking residents to offer feedback on ways to improve public transportation services for older adults, people with disabilities and low-income. individuals.

Lynx is asking residents to offer feedback on ways to improve public transportation services for older adults, people with disabilities and low-income individuals.

The ask for input comes as the tri-county transit authority updates its Locally Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan using insight gathered at workshops and surveys now through March 25.

Representatives from a consulting firm called WSP USA were at the downtown Kissimmee station Monday afternoon speaking with riders at the first of three workshops had at major bus terminals.  

“We’re trying to get the word out so people know we’re interested in what they have to say,” said Tricia Whitton, senior planner at WSP USA.

The last time Lynx collected feedback on its Human Services Transportation Plan was 2016. Notable improvements to the VanPool program – which helps agencies lease a van for employees to carpool to work in – and sensitivity training for drivers were some of the things that resulted from workshops and meetings, said Whitton.

Things like gaps in fixed-bus routes, inefficiencies in Access Lynx – the company’s paratransit service for the disabled – and improved accessibility for the deaf and blind are some of the suggestions the consulting firm is hoping to get feedback on.

“But there many be other things folks want to let us know about,” Whitton said. “We’re here to collect all that information.”

A roadmap of spending priorities will be drafted using public input gathered over the next week-and-a-half. That priority list will dictate how future money is spent from the Section 5310 Program – a state block grant administered by the Florida Department of Transportation designed to meet the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities.

“When the 5310 funds are available, any project selected has to come from this plan,” said Whitton. “That’s why it’s important to get people’s input.”

5310 Program funds can pay for many things including:

• New vehicles

• Bus stop improvements

• Accessible pedestrian signals

• Sidewalk upgrades including curb cuts to assist people who use mobility devices like wheelchairs and scooters.

• Better signage.

• Covering costs to provide door-to-door service.

Another stakeholder meeting will be held at 10 a.m. March 25, at Lynx Central Station in downtown Orlando, where agencies will give input and consultants will share early findings.

A final draft of proposed changes will go before a Lynx board May 9.

For more information, contact Whitton at patricia.whitton@wsp.com or 407-587-7899, or Belinda Balleras at bballeras@golynx.com or 407-254-6115.