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Plans to add FlixBus route from Lakeland to Tampa, Orlando, Miami
By Rebecca Petit,
There could soon be another bus service available for Polk County commuters.
“I don’t think rush hour is a problem. It’s all day there’s traffic. It doesn’t even matter what time,” said Angelina Antell.
For Angelina Antell driving on U.S. Highway 98 in Lakeland can be frustrating.
“One, there’s always accidents over here. I think that’s what really gets it backed up, because every other day I feel like there’s a big accident,” she said.
Antell moved to Lakeland last year from New York. She would like to see more public transit available in Lakeland, so she could visit surrounding cities.
“In New York, I feel like there’s even less traffic sometimes because everyone takes the subways, trains and the buses,” said Antell.
Lakeland drivers may soon have more options to get from point A to point B.
FlixBus is planning to stop in Lakeland during its routes between Tampa, Orlando and Miami. The bus service will pick up and drop off riders at Gow B. Fields Park and Ride, located on U.S. 98 near I-4.
“Parking is free in the Gow Fields Park and Ride. That’s the great thing about that,” said Dave Walters with Citrus Connection.
The Park and Ride is owned by Citrus Connection, Polk County’s public transit system.
“Polk County and Lakeland specifically is growing tremendously. So, there’s always a need for public transportation and we have 34 routes out there that ultimately can get you to the park and ride. So, an additional service that gets people moving to Tampa, Orlando and Miami is critical,” Walters said.
Leaders at Citrus Connection said a FlixBus stop could alleviate traffic and also improve the quality of life for hundreds of drivers who commute to Orlando for work.
“You’re on the bus, you can read, you can check emails, you can listen to music, you can take a nap. You can't do that behind the wheel of a car,” Walters said.
The agreement with FlixBus will be presented on March 28 to the board of directors of the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District, which oversees the Citrus Connection.
If approved, FlixBus would start service in Lakeland on March 30.