110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Jul 15, 2013 - 11:20:03am
Votran's Route 60 bus carries passengers between the east and west sides of the county on U.S. HIghway 92, traveling from the Northgate Shopping Center in DeLand to Daytona Beach, stopping at Volusia Mall.
Effective Monday, July 15, "Route 60 will no longer go inside the Volusia Mall," a Votran flier states, "to improve schedule efficiency."
The flier says outbound passengers should board, instead, at the intersection of Hagen Terrace and International, near the new Outback Steak House. Inbound passengers will be picked up or dropped off at the intersection of Midway and International Speedway. Both locations are across the highway from the mall.
Other Daytona Beach routes — 10, 11, 18 and 19 — will still stop at Volusia Mall.
John Sinquefield lives in DeLand and relies on Votran for transportation. He's not happy with the changes, he told The Beacon July 8, after finding the small flier announcing the change aboard one of the buses.
"The big thing that caught my attention was about not being able to get to the VA clinic easily," he said.
Sinquefield said West Volusians who must go to the Veterans Administration clinic in Daytona Beach now have to get off the bus at Midway and hoof it across eight lanes of traffic, then cross the expansive Volusia Mall parking lot to catch the Route 11 bus to the clinic.
Sinquefield has knee troubles, and getting across the highway is difficult for him and many others, he said.
The trip across the highway will make difficult to get to the VA clinic or make other connections at the mall.
Now, Sinquefield is dropped off at the mall and waits about five minutes or so for a transfer bus. He won't make it across the road and the parking lot in five minutes.
"Who will be affected by the Route 60 not going into the mall? Everyone!" he said. "I can only imagine senior citizens with walkers, disabled veterans and parents with children trying to make this crossing."
If it's raining, there's little protection at stops across the highway, and none while crossing the highway and parking lot, Sinquefield said.
The only alternative will be to ride the Route 60 bus all the way to the main Votran facility off Beach Street in Daytona Beach to catch another bus back out to the mall. That's means additional cost, plus 35-45 minutes more travel time.
County Member Pat Northey said she had not been informed of the change. She brought it up during the Thursday, July 11, County Council meeting.
"That particular route has been an issue of concern, anyway," Northey said, making reference to an incident on March 8, reported by The Beacon. A Votran Route 60 bus, instead of transporting riders from the Volusia Mall to DeLand, dropped them at the Volusia County Branch Jail west of Daytona Beach.
After a number of calls to dispatch and a 90-minute wait outside the jail, riders finally made it to DeLand. Those who needed to transfer to go to DeBary, Pierson and other stops missed the last buses of the day.
"We want maximum ridership and to get people where they want to go," Northey said July 8.
During the July 11 council meeting, Votran General Manager Steve Sherrer said the change is the only way to keep the buses on schedule, however.
That has been a challenge.
"We've had complaints," he said earlier.
Community Services Director Dave Byron said with increased traffic and time buses spend getting in and out of the mall, buses have been delayed. The change will help buses get to Northgate Shopping Center in DeLand in time for travelers to make connections to Pierson, DeBary and Deltona.
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