Texas A&M, Brazos Transit looking to buy 20 new buses to get Aggies, A&M faculty to campus

From the Eagle

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."