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The Rest of the Story

Votran Tanger

There is much to be excited about along the growth hot-spot bordering I-95 just south of the LPGA interchange. New car dealerships and other businesses are blossoming along Tomoka Farms Road. The Trader Joe’s Distribution Center is a beehive of activity, and the opening of the Tanger Outlet Mall all are bringing new activity to the area and creating new jobs to stimulate the regional economy.

Since at least last June, however, Daytona Beach and County leaders have been aware that public transportation – the service nobody uses unless they have to – doesn’t exist and won’t be coming without new funding for Votran, the County subsidized bus service.

As GovStuff reported on County Manager Jim Dinneen’s ‘Go to Zero Debt’ plan on September 25 (look up the report in the Index) County Council authorized Dinneen to follow a policy of taking on no new funding, which in this case appears to rule out service to the growth area without even a study as to what subsidizes may be needed. The importance of Votran not only to the job market, but to the poor and disabled for whom Votran is a lifeline to community services and living necessities was underscored by a detailed 2015 survey that showed more than a fourth of fixed route passengers depend on the bus to get to and from work.

In 2015 more than a third of passengers had incomes of under $10,000 and more than half less than $30,000. Health, education and social service agencies buy passes and tokens annually that provide nearly 40,000 rides for qualifying residents. You can link to the Votran report by clicking the link below. As exchanges between Votran and the City of Daytona Beach and Tanger, (which you can review by clicking the letter link below) reflect, all parties are pleading poverty and suggesting action is the responsibility of somebody else. Although the issue arose in June, it didn’t make it to the County Council agenda until November 17 where members disagreed on a response. If you feel we are keeping people from working or letting jobs go unfilled, or from reaching vital services, it’s past time for action

Votran Report

Votran Tanger letter

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