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Call to Action: Support Dedicated Funding for Lynx! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marjorie Holt   
Thursday, July 16 2009

Orange County 2010 Budget

The Sierra Club Central Florida Group supports a 5 cent local option gax tax as a funding source for LYNX. Tell our elected officials this investment in public transportation will help build Central Florida's economic future, reduce fuel consumption, and reduce air pollution by providing an alternative to the automobile.  Read Commissioner Stewart's 2010 Budget Memorandum to view other local gas tax options. 

 

Contact Information

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Telephone: (407) 836-7370
Fax: (407) 836-7360
Postal Address:
County Mayor Richard Crotty
201 S. Rosalind Ave., 5th Floor
Orlando, FL  32801
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  •  

    2010 Budget Memorandum from Commissioner Stewart:

     

    July 8, 2009

    TO: Mayor Richard T. Crotty
                      &
     Board of County Commissioners

    FROM: Commissioner Linda Stewart – District 4

    REF:  Dedicated Funding Source for LYNX - Planning for 2010


    It goes without saying that each of us wishes for a transportation system which would truly meet the needs of all who would use it and support our regional economy as well.  We have continually worked together to plan and deliver such a system, but for a myriad of reasons we have not achieved its implementation.  I would like to request a workshop to discuss options for funding resources and implement planning for transportation in Orange County.

     

    Our citizens are being negatively impacted by the downturn in our economy resulting in the highest unemployment in more than 30 years.  Their quality of life is being compromised by job losses, cuts in wages and benefits and an increased cost for transportation.  Not only would many of our citizens who have relied on their automobiles in the past turn to public transportation if they had viable options, but we also have a large workforce who currently rely on public transportation to get to their jobs.  We provide our region’s workforce with a transit system that is operating on an inadequate budget.

     

    Successful transit systems in the United States run service for their workforce every 15 minutes.  Our transit system is closer to 60-minute headways.  Instead of adding routes to address our citizens’ increasing need for transit options, we have recently cut routes.  This is unacceptable for a community as large and diverse as ours.

     

    A recent public opinion poll by METROPLAN, our regional transportation organization, shows that we are ready to commit to transportation other than personal vehicles and to spend previously dedicated highway dollars on other forms of transportation.  In Orange County, we have opportunities to bring our service closer to the national standard which will draw more ridership to our system.  Some opportunities will require more time to put into place, but others can provide additional resources to LYNX in the near-term.

     

    • We must develop a plan to take advantage of the legislatively reworked Charter County Transportation System Surtax, a funding source that, at a half cent, could generate approximately 3.5 billion for capital, operations and maintenance in Orange County over the next 20 years.
    • We must continue to fight for the local option on rental car surcharge.
    • We must take the first step by focusing on our current ability to put the local option gas tax into play.  This can be done by a super majority vote of our Commission and, if we voted by April 2010 this would provide desperately needed revenue beginning in 2011.  According to the Florida dept of Revenue’s office of Tax Research Revenue estimates for the local fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, Orange County’s available $.05 cents could raise $26 million.
    • One cent for the first year (generating $5.2 million) indexing over the next five years to .05 (generating $26.0 million) with a plan to eliminate this tax when another funding source is in place.
    • Two cents with no indexing which would generate $10.4 million annually
    • Five cents the first year which would generate as much as $26.0 million
    • We must remember that local option gas tax stays in Orange County while many of the tax dollars our citizens currently pay, do not.

     

    We have been elected to represent our citizens by making decisions that will ensure their well being and improve our region.  We have serious transportation funding deficiencies for Roads, Bridges and Transit and it is time for us to step up.  Every District in our County is affected by our poorly funded transit system.  The current ridership breakdown by District follows:

     

                                         # of Routes      Annual Rides on LYNX Routes

    District 1 -       Boyd                27                12,148,689
    District 2 -       Brummer         18                   8,161,138
    District 3 -       Fernandez        36                 19,090,399
    District 4 -       Stewart            26                 13,061,477
    District 5 -       Segal               19                   6,959,735
    District 6 -       Moore-Russell   35                 16,149,946

     

    I am confident that if we provided our citizens with a more efficient transit system with reasonable headways as other cities do across America, the ridership will continue to increase and a large share of people in our community will embrace all transit options as an alternative to their automobiles.

     

    During our budget review, I am hopeful we can discuss scheduling a workshop for transit funding before April 2010.

     

    C:  Ajit Lalchandani, County Administrator

     

    Last Updated ( Thursday, July 16 2009 )
     
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