Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is down with the people. He may be the big guy, but he wants to hear from you, the little guys and girls, on the issues of the day. Hence his recent e-mail to anyone on the city's mailing list asking for feedback on the new $29 million LYNX bus station.
Orlandoans told him. And since Dyer's e-mails are public record, we thought we'd share a few of the answers with you. Enjoy 'em, because you wrote 'em.
I see a lot of big empty buses. Maybe Orlando needs to trade these large empty buses for smaller, more practical, cheaper buses.
P.S. I haven't seen the "new" bus depot …. However over all, I think you are doing a good job.
Station is very nice and new, but it is very confusing trying to figure out where each bus is located, i.e. which stall they are parking in. Also, if you walk in the station from the open side you have to go inside to see the schedule. How about a board outside where the buses are to show the schedule, etc.?
I appreciate being kept up to speed with Orlando's financial choices. One problem though. It seems that too much emphasis is put on a public transportation system that will never be like the more dense cities. Yes the bus/train/cab station looks great and will be ahead of its time, however the region is too spread out for it to ever live up to its potential. I, as a tax-paying citizen, would much rather see my dollars spent to upgrade our basketball arena or build a new multi-sport complex (football and baseball). These things not only draw national attention, but boost Orlando's morale and pride. If you politicians can justify spending my money for a mammoth convention center that directly serves Rosen and the other hoteliers' interests, you should do the same for the DeVos family. The arena would serve as a downtown convention spot when not used for sports, think about the vibrancy that comes to a downtown core when you include something that serves everyone. Now the only people that I think are being served are people that have lawyers to find tax exemptions as they ask for cash incentives to bring business to an area where they will become filthy rich! I voted for you once because I believed in you. Earn my vote again by serving the people and their needs for entertainment, or it is going to end up being the Kansas City Magic and you will have a big empty building that you end up spending more of our money to demolish.
I know that some staff worker will read this message and you will never know how I feel, but I think I am speaking with some good common sense. I hope you find some before we become like Des Moines, Raleigh, Columbia, or worse yet, Fort Lauderdale. A city with no national name or public entertainment.
A voter and lifelong Orlando resident who is dreading the future,
I've not seen the new bus station, but read about it online. It sounds like an excellent upgrade from the old Pine Street station where I had to wait for a connection for 25 minutes in the chill, damp winter mornings for a month while striving to replace an old car.
I would like to see LYNX improved to the point that many more people could use it efficiently as a primary means of transportation. I hate driving, and would love to use public transportation much more frequently. However, my 8 and one-half mile trip to work would require a three-block walk (sans sidewalks, and I'm afraid of roaming dogs) to wait in the weather alone (I'm a petite lady, over 50) before dawn to bus to the downtown station to wait for a connection which would then drop me off where I must cross a "raceway" without pedestrian crosswalks, walk another block (again without sidewalks), and cross another busy four-lane street without pedestrian crosswalks (still in the morning fog and low visibility). The bus trip to work would take at least an hour or longer depending on the wait for transfer.
The drive, under optimum conditions, takes about 25 minutes through four stop signs, two railroad crossings, and 27 traffic lights; under worse conditions, 40-45 minutes. And repeat the time and effort in reverse at the end of the day.
I guess this is not so much about the bus as about the need for Central Florida, i.e., Orlando, Orange County, Maitland, Winter Park and all other closely connected areas, becoming more pedestrian-friendly. If one had safe access such as sidewalks, covered waiting areas, benches, the company of other bus patrons at bus stops, in combination with a system that makes the time invested comparable to drive time, then LYNX might be able to look forward to increased ridership an increase in riders by choice, not because it's their only available option. You have the power and the influence go for it! Thank you.
I never ride the bus. The only thing I can say is that it is nice-looking and if it serves the purpose which I'm sure it does then I'm happy for the people that use it.
G. I. Hunt
I think the bus station is great. I also think the contract for the policemen is awful.
I don't understand how a new LYNX bus station will help ridership. In order to increase ridership, we need less wait time between buses. We need shorter commute times even if this means several DIRECT buses to areas like the hospitals or colleges. Don't we want those people who cannot afford a car to get a better education or be able to take less time off of work so they can take their sick children to the hospital?
We need satellite hubs in Winter Park and other major areas of town. It is ridiculous to have to catch a bus downtown from near University Boulevard and Semoran to go downtown, WAIT an hour for a connecting bus, to go to Edgewater Drive. This was my first and last experience with the bus system when my car was in the shop! It took me over half a day to get to where I needed to go. The commute times are too long for our busy lives. Maybe the mayor should ride the bus from his house to work for a week so he can study the problem firsthand.
Stephanie L. Widner
I think the new Central Station is fanTAStic! Its beautiful, modern sinewy shape reflects the movement that is associated with the building's purpose. I hope it is a harbinger of things to come for the city.
Dear Mayor Dyer,
I am very pleased with the new LYNX bus station located on Garland and Central Boulevard. One feature that I find especially useful is the large screen in the waiting area which displays the run time for all of the buses, and the letter of the port in which they stop. This makes it very simple to find when and from where your bus will be departing. I am also grateful for the covered waiting area that keeps riders out of the elements, the public bathrooms that are provided, and the quick and easy passenger drop-off area. One thing that I do wish they would add, however, is a large clock because I still have people asking me for the time.
It was a great idea. The city was needing a terminal like that but the city is growing every day. I believe that's not enough. LYNX needs one terminal like that in each side of the city (north, south, east and west). That way it will cover the entire city and from those terminals LYNX will have the capability of linking other Central Florida towns to Orlando.
Strategically and economically talking, it will put LYNX in a good position due to the population in Central Florida is growing as well as the city and there's too many people that don't have a car or want to work close to Orlando. Orlando needs a powerful public transportation system that people here can count on. It will need money and effort but at the end, the city will benefit from it.
Lisandro José Fernandez
Dear Mr. Dyer
The bigger question to be asking is: How many police personnel assigned to cover the square block on which that bus station sits actually make $63,000 a year? After all, this is what your office quoted as reportedly being the average salary, ranked 20th in the nation. I personally know a sergeant on your force who is nowhere near $83,000.
The building is pretty and well-designed. I pray that our officers will want to protect and serve it after you disrespected them at the council meeting.
Only cheesy second-rate cities use fluorescent lighting on the outlines of buildings!
Why are you sending me spam? You tie up my phone lines with your recorded messages and contribute to the excessive junk in my e-mail. I am not in the city.
I believe the station is garish and too contemporary, the architecture should have been "traditional" design so as to compliment the city for many years to come. The current style will draw criticism as the years go by and become "out dated" in appearance, and therefore be additional costs to the taxpayers sometime down the road. Traditional architecture is always a safer better use of money as the eye appeal lasts. That is why they call it traditional.
You asked for an opinion, too bad more opinions weren't sought prior to design.
It just screams excess. Anyone not knowing the costs of architecture and engineering, myself included, would think that the "interesting, modern" design probably cost the city too much. Shame that a city this small would decide to put money in edgy design and not on raises for employees, more buses, better social programs, drug treatment centers, the homeless problem (this winter, there are more derelicts than ever before in our city and they are in the same corners day after day!). We are set for unbelievable growing pains.
Carlos Carbonell and Adam Hunter
I am quite impressed with this new and modern structure. It is attractive and in a desirable location which makes it convenient to downtown employees and tourists. I commend you and your staff in making this project a reality. I am an active Republican who wants good government and I have to say that I am pleased with the work you have done in helping to make downtown Orlando a "city beautiful." Also, I further want to commend you in your efforts to "hold down property taxes," which seems to be most politician's plan to raise taxes on properties to satisfy any and all their monetary problems. It is refreshing to see a Democrat attempting to hold down taxes for a change .… Who knows, maybe next time I just might vote for you!
Peyton H. Keaton III
The new LYNX bus station looks great, but do you have any plans to provide a real mass transit system for Orlando? Traffic is already a mess in the morning going to work and even worse on the way home. If Orlando is going to grow into a big city it must have an elevated train or monorail system to bring the workers into the CBD. Building more parking garages will not solve the problem and putting more LYNX buses out on the streets is not helping. I would start with a line from MCO to the CBD. Take a hard look at the monorail systems available, do a search on the web, seems to me they are very cost effective and can be built much faster than the alternatives. The new bus station is very nice. Have a great day Mr. Mayor.
Kevin B. Logue