For immediate release - August 2, 2007
Leesburg chamber celebrates new downtown bus route
LEESBURG — A few raindrops couldn't dampen the spirits of the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce as they collectively cheered the new downtown Leesburg bus service, LakeXpress, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Thursday morning.
"We've been working on it for several years and it's finally here," announced Leesburg City Commissioner David Knowles to the crowd of about three dozen chamber members.
In the foreground are (left to right) Chamber President-elect Tim Pierson of CenterState Bank Mid Florida, City Commissioner David Knowles, Chamber President Robert Johnson of Commerce Park Investments and Lake-Sumter MPO Chairman and Minneola Mayor David Yeager.
LakeXpress runs every hour from The Villages to Eustis with a circulator route in downtown Leesburg. The bus service began on May 21 and is currently averaging about 600 passengers daily. According to officials with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Leesburg circulator has been a successful route for the bus service because of the city's developed downtown area, its central location in the County and the city's demographics. In addition, Leesburg features two hospitals, an employment center and the County's only mall.
"It's a great service that will provide transportation to the residents and business community of Leesburg, as well as the customers and employees to the downtown business district," said Josh Gonzales, assistant vice president for Citizens Bank and member of the chamber's board of directors.
LakeXpress operates Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Buses do not run on Saturdays, Sundays and the following federal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. All fares for LakeXpress are free until Aug. 17. After this introductory period, all trips will be $1 and half-fares will be available for seniors 60 years or older (must present a valid Medicare card upon boarding); students with a valid school ID; and individuals with disabilities (buses are equipped with lifts). Free fares are available for children under five years of age, which are accompanied by a fare-paying chaperone.
For more information about LakeXpress, call (352) 326-8637 or log on to www.RideLakeXpress.com.
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