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Teresa Jacobs wary of new LYNX privatization bill

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is reluctant to support new legislation filed  Friday, that seeks to expand the Central Florida Transportation Authority Board, and privatize day-to-day operations of the LYNX bus system.

“We need to have some conversations to make sure we’re all working from the same set of facts” Jacobs told Florida Politics Tuesday afternoon “It’s more of a matter of miscommunication, than a need for a restructuring body or privatization.”

HB 155, filed by Altamonte Springs State Rep. Bob Cortes, would expand the five- person board, which includes Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, to a nine-voting-member board that would include three more elected officials from Orlando, Sanford, and Kissimmee, and three government appointees.

It’s those appointed positions that make Jacobs nervous.

“These appointed positions that deal with important issues need to be done by officials that are held accountable by our citizens,” she said. “On that one it would be taking us back.”

The county offered results of a study that illustrated that the LYNX bus system actually operated at a lower costs than some of the other bus transportation systems across the country. Others calling for privatization include lawmakers such as Orlando U.S. Rep. John Mica, and Sanford State Rep. Jason Brodeur. They say privatization would aim to make the system more efficient and make it part of a regionwide transportation network.

“I love Bob; I have tremendous respect for him” Jacobs said. “We just need to sit and talk and understand what the concerns are, and the right way to address them.”

Written By

Frank Torres is the Orlando-area writer for Florida Politics. He is a U.S. Army veteran who grew up in Central Florida and has covered politics in the region since 2009. Torres serves as a regular contributor to several news and radio organizations in the area and features original photography from many of the events he covers.

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