Transportation Chair Theo Webster speaks to Commission:
Thank you, Mayor and Commissioners. The League of Women Voters of Orange County has studied Orange County’s transit system since the 1980’s. We took the position that a dedicated funding source was needed to facilitate a multimodal transit system. Areas like Austin, Charlotte, Pittsburg and others have this funding commitment, and their transit systems have advanced. At this point, LYNX has only about 30 more buses than it had in the mid 1980’s.
The League supported the 2003 attempt to adequately fund the necessary transportation system. We supported the development of the existing north/south spine of SunRail and support the development of an east/west corridor and access to Orlando International Airport.
We know this: LYNX and SunRail need better connectivity, more frequent service, night and weekend service. Safety is a key factor for bikers and pedestrians. Better transit will benefit Central Florida economically. These points are not in dispute. Transparency and trust are at issue.
In 2020 Orange County voters mandated protection for the preserve known as Split Oak Forest. The League supported this effort. Orange County officials had a chance to support the voters’ wishes last week before a key state board. They did not. These are the kinds of actions that test voters’ trust. We think that the position stated in Sunday’s Orlando Sentinel editorial is a good one. They wrote that the Mayor should “ask commissioners to suggest ways to reassure voters that the promises behind the transportation tax will be kept.”
We ask you to vote “YES” and put the referendum to the people for a vote on a much-needed dedicated funding source for transportation. Working together to develop trust is essential.