Since Tuesday, Lynx staffers have handed out 137 free, 30-day passes and discussed job opportunities with Puerto Rico hurricane refugees at the Orlando International Airport.

The transportation system’s staff has been manning a table to OIA’s reception center since it opened Tuesday to the first flights of Puerto Ricans fleeing from the devastation of Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

The free bus passes are a way for Lynx to help make traveling around Central Florida easier and make the Puerto Ricans feel welcome.

“In times of emergency we must come together to help whomever, from wherever,” said LYNX CEO Edward L. Johnson. “Visiting and traveling around a new area can be scary regardless of the circumstances.”

The agency, like many other major businesses in the area, is also working to provide employment opportunities to those arriving from Puerto Rico.

“As the regional transportation authority, our available positions are not just technical, said Johnson, who added they are interviewing for professional positions in accounting, planning, operations, maintenance and safety.

LYNX staff has been answering questions, assisting with travel planning and providing bus passes with schedule books. They join other agencies like the American Red Cross, FEMA and Orange County Public Schools that have set up information tables at the airport.

Vice President Mike Pence, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, along with LYNX Board members Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer stopped by the reception center Thursday to offer encouragement and thank the dedicated agencies for their assistance.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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