UMATILLA — During a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning, officials from Lake County, City of Umatilla and the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) trumpeted the arrival of a new bus route for LakeXpress, Lake County’s public transportation service, that connects it to LYNX, Central Florida’s Regional Transportation Authority.
Officials (left to right) cut the ribbon for the new bus route: Umatilla Council President Holly Curley, Mayor Benita Dixon, Lake County Commissioner Welton Cadwell and Council Member Peter Tarby.
Route 4 of LakeXpress runs 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.
“It’s a great thing for North Lake, and I think it’s going to be a good thing for businesses,” said Lake County Commissioner Welton Cadwell.
Added T.J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter MPO, “We planted this seed two years ago and we were surprised by [LakeXpress’] type of ridership. It’s people going to work and that’s important.”
Umatilla Mayor Benita Dixon and Council President Holly Curley mentioned how the new route will benefit their municipality by providing transportation to public facilities, such as the Lake County Health Department clinic and North Lake Community Park, both located off East Collins Street in Umatilla. In addition, the new route will give students from the community transportation to Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg.
While LakeXpress Route 4 has the potential to provide numerous benefits for North Lake County communities, the new route’s largest impact is expected to be its ability to connect the LakeXpress’ three other routes to LYNX.
Bus passengers will not be required to pay two fares to ride between counties. Passengers transferring from one system to another need to request a transfer pass from their bus driver. The two bus systems meet in Zellwood at approximately 8:20 and 10:20 a.m. and 12:20, 2:20, 4:20 and 6:20 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Transfers are at the Anthony House, located at 6215 Holly St.
For more information about LakeXpress or to view a bus schedule, call (352) 326-8637 or log on to www.RideLakeXpress.com.