LYNX was founded in May 1972 to serve Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. It was known as Tri-County Transit until 1992 when it officially changed its name to LYNX and then to the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority in March 1994.
It serves 1.8 million people spread out over 2,400 square miles with an operating budget of $142,371,411; as of their 2019 Fiscal Year. They have 77 local routes served by 300 coaches, which provide roughly 83,000 rides each workday.
They have over 1,200 shelters at the over 4,500 stops in the LYNX service area. That’s not even half of our stops equipped with some place to sit or retreat from the elements – which, let’s be honest, is a daily need for Orlando bus riders.
A French firm, JCDecaux (Website), has been solving the same sort of issue in Europe since 1964 by providing them for “free” to the bus systems they serve. The outdoor advertising company specializes in Sart City tech by not only building shelters but smart hubs with free wi-fi service, geo-location mapping services that show where their bus is in real-time, touch-screen wayfinding information, public service announcements from partnering city governments and more. And it’s all paid for with advertising revenues.
Bus shelters are usually built in the public right-of-way, just inches from the curb, facing major roadways in both residential and commercial areas. They are easily visible and coupled with smart tech could be outfitted to relay geo-targeted informational campaigns like traffic alerts, road closures, and special event information.
Imagine a partnership with the Central Florida Sports Authority where you could watch games live on the street on your way to the stadium.
While negotiating right-of-way is still one of the biggest challenges to placing shelters along the routes, we’d still like to see something like this attempted in Orlando #bringtoorlando #worksmarternotharder.