Starting in late August, Valencia College students and employees will ride the Lynx bus system for free.
The college announced
Thursday it had signed an agreement with Lynx to provide funding for bus service for Valencia students and employees on all routes. Lynx will also reroute an existing bus route going from Lake Nona to downtown Orlando to include Valencia's Lake Nona campus. The school estimates that currently, 650 people use the bus system to get to Valencia campuses every day.
"We think this will ease the financial burden on students and employees for whom transportation is a major issue," Valencia President Sandy Shugart says in a statement. "We believe that those who would not otherwise use Lynx will take advantage of the free transit. If just 250 students take one additional class as a result of this, the model pays for itself in tuition."
The Orlando Sentinel
reports the agreement between the college and Lynx calls for Valencia to pay $75,000 annually.
"Public transportation is about providing access, which in turn affords opportunity for the entire community," Lynx CEO Edward Johnson says in a statement. "With this partnership, together we will be removing a hurdle for Valencia students by providing them a mode of opportunity to make a difference in the Central Florida region."
To use the bus for free, Valencia students and employees will need to get a sticker from the college to place on their Valencia ID cards and present to the driver. The sticker, which is good for one academic year, will available at campus security offices starting Aug. 23.