57. County Council approves 'flex' Votran scedule for Southeast Volusia residents

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Courtesy photo / Volusia County. A Votran bus heads west on Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach in this photo. The county came up with a "flex" schedule to lessen the blow of some routes eliminated for greater New Smyrna Beach resulting from budget cuts.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Cuts in public bus transit for Southeast Volusia are not as bad as initially feared. The Volusia County Council, looking for ways to cut next year’s budget, decided in July that eliminating Votran public transit service on some routes in New Smyrna Beach was going too far. Instead, the County Council opted for a scaled down flex service.

The County Council by consensus directed County Manager Jim Dinneen to include funding for a flex service to serve Southeast Volusia routes 42, 43, and 44. The bus service reductions were proposed as part of county government’s overall goal to reduce the 2010-11 fiscal year budget by approximately $23 million.

Staff proposed Votran service eliminations included trolley and holiday service and Southeast Volusia routes 42, 43, and 44. “We wanted to offer a solution that would get people to their destination, but at the same time we still need to find savings,” Votran General Manager Ken Fischer said.

Fischer presented alternative service options for Southeast Volusia, which included reduced frequency and reduced service area. The options reflect savings between $109,000 to $116,000. Elimination of the Southeast Volusia routes would save $266,673.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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