WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The temporary after-hours bus route has proven success, so members of Wichita Falls City Council have voted to grant the program more funding to continue.
“We are providing a service in the community that was long needed. So, I’m excited to say that we are moving forward for the rest of the year and we will include the after-hours service in the upcoming budget process and discussions. I’m pretty confident we will continue this for the foreseeable future,” said John Burrus, Director of Aviation, Traffic & Transportation.
The after-hour bus service allows working residents that get off after midnight a way to get home. When the route was added in January, the new bus driver was only picking up about six riders.
That number has more than tripled. Though the journey has not been without some bumps in the road.
“We were on a very steep learning curve. We had never provided and after hour route. It was an on-call service that had to be scheduled by noon each day,” said Burrus.
“I wasn’t really sure that it was going to work. That was a request from Work Services and other people. It was not really complaints, but a request. We knew it was going to cost us a little more money, we knew the logistics were going to be a little squirrelly, and we are still working through those problems,” said Mayor Stephen Santellana.
After only a few months the Director of Transportation says right now it’s smooth sailing.
“Since then we have worked out some of these details, refined our system a little bit of you would things are going well,” said Burrus.
Soon the public transportation department will be offering another service that Burrus and former Councilmen Michael Smith have collaborated on and plan to roll out soon.
Buses will pick up and drop off kids at the Wichita Falls Public Library for free this summer.
“When my mom was getting her teaching degree she took summer school, and she would drop my sister an I off at the library, and we read for two to three hours, and she would come and pick us back, and fortunately I had my mom to get me to the library. This is what we are trying to do today,” said Burrus.
They hope to start the new free library drop off service just a couple of weeks.