TAVARES — LakeXpress, the County’s public transportation service, is seeking volunteers who are willing to be “mystery riders” to evaluate the service from a customer's perspective and provide feedback to County staff.
“Much like the mystery shoppers of retail establishments, the undercover mystery riders would take trips on LakeXpress, and provide valuable feedback on the service received,” said Ken Harley, Manager of the Lake County Public Transportation Division.
Armed with a checklist of criteria that includes cleanliness, driver courtesy, stop announcements and on-time performance, the information mystery riders gather would be used to help staff identify and correct problems.
“This program will give us the opportunity to identify what LakeXpress riders experience,” Harley said. “We want to know what is currently working and what isn’t, and what we can improve.”
Those interested in becoming mystery riders will be required to attend a training class. The next training class is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. at the Lake County Community Services office conference room, located at 1300 S. Duncan Drive, Building E in Tavares. To volunteer as a LakeXpress “mystery rider,” call the Lake County Public Transportation Division at (352) 742-6583.
LakeXpress’ four routes include Route 1 running from The Villages to Eustis, primarily on U.S. Highway 441; Route 2 circulating in downtown Leesburg; Route 3 circulating in downtown Mount Dora; and Route 4 running from the Altoona Post Office on State Road 19 to the community of Zellwood on U.S. Highway 441 where passengers can transfer to LYNX route 44.
LakeXpress operates Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fares for LakeXpress are $1 for all trips. Half-fares are available for riders 60 years or older, students and individuals with disabilities (buses are equipped with lifts). Free fares are available for children under five years of age, who are accompanied by a fare-paying chaperone.
For more information about becoming a LakeXpress mystery rider volunteer, contact Kathy Hartenstein at (352) 742-6583 or email email@example.com.