Orlando Officials Break Ground on the City’s Third Bus Rapid Transit Line
ORLANDO, Fla., May 14, 2015—Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority LYNX LYMMO bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will improve transit options and connect riders to existing transit services throughout the Orlando region. Acting Administrator McMillan was joined by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando LYNX CEO John Lewis.
“Innovative projects like Orlando’s LYMMO BRT service can offer people the opportunity to connect to more jobs, education, medical care, and achieve a better quality of life,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “We’re proud to celebrate this milestone, but we must do more. We are asking Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill, like the GROW AMERICA Act, that will help Orlando and other communities in Florida and around the country enhance their transportation infrastructure in the years ahead.”
Investments like bus rapid transit are vital to meet the transportation needs of the nation and to support local economic development. Under the Administration’s GROW AMERICA Act, a comprehensive multi-year program to fund infrastructure improvements, $115 billion is identified for investment in transit systems. The proposal, which increases transit spending by 76 percent, will enable the expansion of new projects that improve connectivity to jobs, education and other opportunities.
“Orlando residents already know that BRT done right is an effective way to reduce congestion, shorten commutes and improve access to downtown,” said FTA Acting Administrator McMillan. “We’re proud to support the city’s effort to bring a third BRT line to the Parramore community that will result in a reliable and desirable ride for commuters, students, seniors, and those who depend on transit to get around.”
The third new BRT line will expand existing LYMMO service to connect the Parramore and Callahan neighborhoods to the Central Business District, SunRail commuter rail and other transit services at LYNX Central station, the U.S. Courthouse, the Amway Center and other popular destinations.
Acting Administrator McMillan also noted that the congestion in the Orlando area reaffirms the concerns outlined inBeyond Traffic, a recent report released by the Department. Beyond Traffic examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades, including a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system that’s facing more frequent extreme weather events. Increased gridlock nationwide can be expected unless changes are made in the near-term.
The Department is providing approximately $13 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding for construction of the third BRT line. The city is providing $3.7 million toward the $16.7 million project. DOT provided a total of $18.5 million for the previous two BRT lines that opened in 1997 and 2014.