Leaders consider merger of Lynx, SunRail

Area leaders are talking about whether Lynx and SunRail should merge to form one transportation agency. The talk is starting now because in 2021, the Florida Department of Transportation will stop paying for and operating SunRail.

We asked Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer if this was a winning plan. He says it is one that should be considered. "Because we operate a bus system that is a logical nexus that we are going to take a look at," said Dyer. 

In 2021, responsibility will fall on the Central Florida Rail Commission to run SunRail. Dyer is on that board, as is Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. We asked her if a merger of Lynx and SunRail would work?  "My opinion, absolutely," Jacobs added. 

Jacobs sees synergy as the biggest benefit.   "So many of the people that use SunRail have to use Lynx to get to and from routes. When you get off of SunRail, you need to be able to access a Lynx bus and get to your final destination. Ultimately a mass transit system needs to be integrated so that it works for all of its users."

Lynx won't address this issue at all until a new CEO is brought in and hired by their Board. There are also a series of large hurdles to overcome. One of the biggest being Volusia County. SunRail serves that County, but Lynx does not and has no jurisdiction there. The biggest overall question has been and still is how will the local partners pay for SunRail once state funding runs out in 2021