July 27, 2017
Valencia College and LYNX today signed an agreement that will allow the college’s students and employees to ride the LYNX bus system for free. Currently, approximately 650 passengers each school day ride the bus to and from Valencia’s campuses, riders who might not otherwise have transportation to classes and work.
“We think this will ease the financial burden on students and employees for whom transportation is a major issue,” said Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia.
Student Celeste Felix-Colon, who takes the bus from her home in Intercession City to Valencia’s Osceola Campus, said she was thrilled by the news, particularly since she’s no longer eligible for Lynx’s youth pass discount. “I turn 19 in September and was expecting to pay $50 per month for unlimited passes. Because of this, I’ll be relieved of a $600 burden this year.”
“Public transportation is about providing access, which in turn affords opportunity for the entire community,” said LYNX CEO Edward Johnson. “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.”
Under the agreement, Valencia will provide funding for bus service for its students and employees, to include all LYNX routes and NeighborLink routes during times in which LYNX is in service. In addition, LYNX will add a bus route to Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus, rerouting the existing Link 406 from downtown Orlando to Lake Nona. Previously, there was no bus stop on the Lake Nona Campus.
To ride the bus, all students and employees will have to do is show their Valencia ID card, which will have a sticker provided by the college that’s good for one academic year. Stickers will be available beginning August 23 at any Valencia campus security office.
“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,” said Shugart.
Valencia College is one the nation’s largest and most recognized community colleges with 74,000 students. In 2011, Valencia won the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs. The college offers a two-year Associate in Arts program that prepares students to transfer to an upper-division college or university; technical programs and continuing education courses that prepare students to meet the needs of business and industry, and several bachelor's programs. Valencia operates eight campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties.
As the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, LYNX provides public transportation services primarily for Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. LYNX’ 77 daily fixed-route bus service transports more than 85,500 passenger trips each weekday spanning an area of approximately 2,500 square miles with a resident population of more than 1.8 million. Other services include LYMMO, three fare-free downtown Orlando circulators; Vanpool commuter services; ACCESS LYNX paratransit service; 13 NeighborLink community circulators; Xpress service from Osceola County; FastLink limited stop service; KnightLYNX, a partnership with the University of Central Florida Student Government Association; and the Road Rangers sponsored by State Farm roadside assistance program on Interstate 4.
For more information please contact Carol Traynor, Director of Public Relations,
Valencia College, at 407-582-1015 or email@example.com.
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