Driving a car ended for me in 2013. When I had a stroke, I said good-bye to my car. My appreciation for other people who lost their license due to illness or aging suddenly became acutely apparent. I never realized how hard it was to be reliant on someone else to get from place to place.
The wait … the frustration … the annoyance
Before I moved to Lake Nona I was married. My husband was always available to drive me around. For the first time in a long time, I was glad he did not work. That is another story on my journey.
It is amazing how much Lake Nona has grown since my granddaughter and I arrived. It is being developed as an upscale living community with beautiful homes, apartment living, and some awesome places to work and play.
When we first arrived, we were going to move into Landon House at Town Center. However, we decided to move across the street from Lake Nona High School. It appeared within walking distance to Walmart and was on a bus route. Two big advantages: 1) being on a bus route, and 2) the community was super. Arriving in August, when thinking about Walmart and its’ neighboring stores, we did not calculate “walking distance plus heat factor equals “pretty miserable.”
Getting around Lake Nona
It is difficult around Lake Nona without a vehicle, and it is worse getting anywhere outside of Lake Nona. When I was driving, I never thought I would miss sitting behind the wheel of a car. I hated sitting in miles of traffic waiting for updates as I crawled home from work. In fact, I use to joke with my friend that my dream was to have a chauffeur. If the chauffeur was nice looking and the car was a Volvo … a girl can dream! The drivers of public transportation do their best but I have a hard time imagine their love for the job.
What is the justification for public transportation
Unfortunately, reliable public transportation is important for a person who does not drive to live independent in a community. Access to a bus was part of our decision path for choosing Dwell. Soon after we moved in, the bus stop was deactivated which was disturbing. Now, I fortunately have transportation paid for by the Veterans Administration to attend all me medical appointments. However, there is not a free transportation option available for my granddaughters appointments. I know, no one has free; however, if you have to Uber it all over Orlando you can go broke.
Access Lynx is available to me for those scheduled rides if I can plan at least 24-hours in advance. As the transportation is a reservation service it is a great door-to-door pickup service. The service sends an accessible small bus or van which is nice at an affordable price of no more than $7.00 one way. The downside to riding with Access Lynx is timing because they require a two-hour window to get you to any destination or drop you off.
Pressure should be put on the Orange County Transportation Authority to consider the value of restoring bus service on Narcoossee, particularly if the demand supports the service. As more medical facilities, sports facilities and hotels are built in Lake Nona, the need for buses will be more apparent. This same argument is true for any area where suburbia is merging with the city. Buses are needed to move people for more reasons than elderly and the disabled. Protect climate change!