‘It will get better:’ Osceola County leaders earmark millions to improve roads

Recent study shows Central Florida drivers has worst commute times in state

A recent study found drivers in Osceola County have the worst commute in the state.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Osceola County continues to see massive growth, and with that comes transportation problems. A recent study found drivers in Osceola County have the worst commute in the state.

Driving during the morning and afternoon commute can easily be the worst part of your day. It turns out Central Florida leads the way for the worst drive times in the state.

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“We’re seeing a lot of long commute times in Central Florida,” said Elena Cox, a senior data reporter for Stacker.com.

Stacker.com is a data-driven news publication. Cox compiled data collected during the 2020 U.S. Census, which asked residents about their drive times.

“The reason they collect this data is because it helps policymakers decide where they need to invest in transportation infrastructure,” Cox said.

She used the data to figure out which counties have the longest commute times.

Brevard County ranked 50th in the state, Seminole came in at 30th, Orange was 23rd, and Osceola County took the top spot.

The average commute time in Osceola County was about 34 minutes, which is six minutes longer than the state average.

“If you look at the data, 78% of people in Osceola drove to work alone, so that’s a lot of cars that are on the road,” Cox said. “They’re not really carpooling. They’re not really taking public transit, so that’s just adding to the crush.”

Assistant County Manager Tawny Olore said a reason for the long commute is because they’re seeing massive growth in Osceola County, whereas development is slowing down in neighboring Orange and Seminole counties.

“As the metropolitan area has gotten built out, they’re moving south because that’s where we’ve got the land,” Olore said.

That’s why Olore said county commissioners are prioritizing transportation. The county has earmarked $770 million for road improvement projects over the next five years.

“It’s going to be rough for a few years, but we’re working to get these roads widened and opened for our commuters,” Olore said.

She added the county is focusing on funding multimodal public transportation options, like Lynx and SunRail.

“You can’t pave your way out of congestion, so that’s one solution,” Olore said.

She said that while the drive times may be long and there will be construction pains, relief is on the way.

“We’re going to have the county under construction for some time, but it will get better. We promise,” Olore said.

Stay up to date on county road improvement projects by clicking here.

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About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!