Local group wants better access to Jet Blue park
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla.--- JetBlue Park is getting ready for Spring Training crowds ready to see the Red Sox. But, for the second year in a row the park is striking out with one group of fans.
A newly elected county commissioner is trying to change that.
When the park was built in 2012 fans quickly found out that LeeTtran, the county's public transportation system, didn't have a stop there on game day. But, with the first game of the 2013 Spring Training season only weeks away, we're learning that could soon change.
"You cannot be dependent without reliable, inexpensive and safe transportation," said Mike Pierson who works for the Center for Independent Living. He is visually impaired and relies on LeeTran to get around.
He and others who work at the center are calling on county leaders to help thousands of tax paying residents get to the ballpark they are paying for.
"For us, it kind of makes the Red Sox JetBlue stadium for the elite," said Mike.
If you head to the stadium by bus, the closest route is Route 50. It drops you off near Daniels and Treeline. The stadium is still more than a mile away. Mike says this has been a problem since the park was built last year.
"We first brought it to their attention a year ago," he said. "Nothing has moved off of center for a year, so i'm kind of gradually losing hope."
Last year LeeTran said it was too late to extend the service and that it wasn't a priority. But, newly elected Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass sees things differently. Instead of new stops added, he wants to see the route extended only on those days with games.
"Is there anything that can be done this season?" asked reporter Kelli Stegeman.
"That's my goal," replied Pendergrass. "Obviously the games are coming up in a few days and I'd like to be able to provide that service to the residents."
"Enjoying the baseball game, going to a sports bar, doing all the things that the average person does, we should have those same rights," said mike.
Stegeman is waiting to hear back from LeeTran to see if priorities have changed for this year.
In the next few week there should be more answers on the possible bus service and the cost involved.
A public roundtable discussion on the issue is scheduled in a week for Wednesday night from 5-8 at the Center for Independent Living in Fort Myers.