Orlando’s transit lady is digging into our commuting issues

Figuring out how best to commute to work is Courtney Reynold’s life’s work. As a program manager for reThink Your Commute, Reynolds helps connect employers and employees with transit options other than driving alone.

“The way to change things is to start somewhere,” she said.

Reynolds began her relationship with public transportation in the fifth grade while living in Daytona Beach. She dreamed of becoming a safety monitor, but the task required her to be on campus before her school bus was scheduled to arrive. So, at 10 years old, she hopped on a city bus and figured out how to navigate its intricacies. Ever since, she’s dedicated her life to helping other people figure it out.

“It’s something that I do morning, noon, and night,” she said. “I was always supposed to be doing this work.”

Practicing what she preaches, Reynolds commutes via bicycle and SunRail from Longwood to her office in downtown Orlando every day. She lives less than 200 footsteps from the closest SunRail station, which admittedly makes missing the train less of a stressor.

Her approach to addressing the traffic and congestion problems faced by many Orlando commuters is one-on-one outreach and support.

“It’s boots on the ground, it’s grassroots — talking to people about what’s possible for them,” she said.

According to data Reynolds cited from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey five-year estimates, only 20 percent of Orlando commuters don’t drive in a car alone. Her team’s goal is to eventually get half of all commuters to use alternative transit.

To find out more about your commuting options in Central Florida, visit RethinkYourCommute.com

By Kayla O'Brien
Kayla O’Brien is Pulptown's video producer, former UCF Knight, and current travel enthusiast. You’ll most likely catch her around Orlando in a group bootcamp class, local cocktail bar or cuddling with her black cat Tarot.