TAVARES — At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a request by the Department of Community Services, Public Transportation Division, to waive student fares on LakeXpress for December and January.
“We want to teach students throughout the County about the important role public transportation has in our community,” said Ken Harley, Director of the Lake County Public Transportation Division. “Since transit is new in Lake County, we need to motivate and encourage our students to become loyal users of the service. If transit is going to survive in Lake County, it will be dependent upon the younger generation utilizing the service.”
According to the Public Transportation Division, currently about 21 percent of passengers on LakeXpress are between the ages of 16-24 and about 10 percent of LakeXpress’ total riders use the County’s public transportation service to get to and from school. Harley said the free fares for students of all ages during December and January is a test, and if successful, it could be continued during the summer months as well.
“We are hoping this special offer will help to educate students about the benefits of using public transportation,” Harley said. “If we are able to get students to try transit they will find that it is a cost effective means of travel, it is safe and has significant benefits to air quality, public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
LakeXpress operates Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and buses run every hour from The Villages to Eustis with circulator routes in the downtowns of Leesburg and Mount Dora. Fares for LakeXpress are $1 for all trips. Half-fares are available for riders 60 years or older 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 LakeXpress or to view a bus schedule, call (352) 326-8637 or log on to www.RideLakeXpress.com.