New LYNX agreement to provide free bus rides to Valencia College students and employees

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Valencia College has reached a new agreement with LYNX that will allow their students and employees to ride the bus for free, the college announced this week.

Currently, an estimated 650 passengers ride the busses to Valencia’s campuses each day. Before this agreement, many of them were paying for $50 unlimited monthly passes for adults, an annual cost of $600.

The agreement will allow all Valencia students and employees to ride any LYNX or NeighborLink route by showing their Valencia ID card, which will now be upgraded with a sticker for each academic year. Stickers will be distributed at all Valencia campus security offices beginning on August 23.

LYNX has also agreed to reroute a bus route to add a stop at Valencia’s Lake Nona campus; there was not a stop there previously.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Valencia will pay LYNX $75,000 annually for this service. Valencia President Sandy Shugart supported the deal, touting it as not just a valuable benefit for their students and staff, but one that was likely to pay for itself in the long run.

“We think this will ease the financial burden on students and employees for whom transportation is a major issue,” said Shugart. “We believe that those who would not otherwise use LYNX will take advantage of the free transit. If just 250 students take one additional class as a result of this, the model pays for itself in tuition.”

“Public transportation is about providing access, which in turn affords opportunity for the entire community,” said LYNX CEO Edward Johnson in a press release. “With this partnership, together we will be removing a hurdle for Valencia students by providing them a mode of opportunity to make a difference in the Central Florida region.”

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

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