Published: December 14, 2014
By: Emily Wilkins
Texas A&M Transportation Services and the Brazos Transit District are working together
to buy 20 buses and enable A&M faculty and staff to get to campus easier.
The A&M transit service, which is for students, gives 6.5 million rides per year,
nearly a 40 percent increase from three years ago, said Peter Lang, the executive
director for transportation services at A&M.
The university has a fleet of 80 buses. But about 46 of the buses are about 12 years
old and nearing the end of their service, Lang said.
"We have two things," Lang said of the need for more buses. "The increased ridership
and dealing with an aging fleet."
The buses, which will cost $8.94 million total, will be paid for with federal grant
funding through the Brazos Transit District. A&M will only pay 20 percent, or $1.79
million, for the buses, with the other 80 percent matched through the grant.
Wendy Weedon, director of marketing with the Brazos Transit District, said the grant
will come through the district because officials there are already going through
the grant process.
"If it's something we can do, we do it, and it goes for them too -- they help us
a lot when they can," she said. "We're two separate entities but our goal is the
same -- to get people where they need to go."
Lang said the two groups have collected passenger data together and are working
on an hourly route between the Brazos Transit hub on Texas Avenue near Mary Lake
Drive, which would allow faculty and staff residing in Bryan a direct line to campus.
"Typically when we overlay our service areas, our student density map, the overlay
is very favorable to where they are," Lang said of Brazos Transit. "That linkage
to Brazos Transit gives some staff options."
The two groups already have worked together for several years to maximize service
within their areas and their funding limits, Weedon said.
The partnership can provide more choice for riders, Lang said.
"Our resources are finite," he said. "But that linkage to Brazos Transit and getting
a transfer point to campus provides one more option."