TAVARES — Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 1, the cost for a one-way trip on Lake County Connection, the County’s disadvantaged transportation service, will increase from $1 to $2.
“Due to the increase in fuel costs and reduction of funding from the state, we have been compelled to raise our rates,” said Ken Harley, Director of the Lake County Public Transportation Division.
In January and February, the proposed increase was advertised in multiple venues for 30 days, including signs posted in Lake County Connection buses. Comments regarding the proposed rate change were received at two public hearings, through the Public Transportation’s page on the County Web site and by telephone.
In February, the Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board recommended the co-pay increase to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners. At a public hearing on April 15, the Board approved the increase. The rate increase is expected to generate nearly $200,000 to help defray increased operating costs and the loss of state funding.
Other co-pays for the Lake County Connection service will remain unchanged. For authorized medical purposes, trips to the Orlando area are $5 each way and trips to the Gainesville area are $10 each way. Trips to Orlando are on Tuesday and Thursday. Trips to Gainesville are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
A state-funded program, Lake County Connection, provides low-cost transportation throughout Lake County to individuals who qualify as “transportation disadvantaged” as defined by state statutes. There is a qualification application process for all new customers. To begin the application process, contact Lake County Connection at (352) 326-2278, Florida Relay voice at (800) 955-5770 or TTY at (800) 955-8771. Lake County Connection operates from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for medical purposes, through prior arrangements.
For more information about Lake County Connection or the Lake County Public Transportation Division, call (352) 742-6580.