The wheels on the bus go round and round,

round and round,

round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

all through the town.

That nursery rhyme is one step closer to becoming a reality in Lufkin, thanks to the efforts of the Brazos Transit District, the city of Lufkin and Impact Lufkin.

A cooperative effort between those three entities has resulted in a couple of proposed route changes for Brazos Transit, one to the Purple Route and one to the Blue Route.

The Purple Route’s change pertains to Timberland Drive’s H-E-B; with the proposed change, the buses will stop at H-E-B’s parking lot, where many who use BTD’s services go. The Blue Route’s proposed change has buses run up one way along Gaslight Boulevard to give better access to medical services in the area.

We believe those two changes directly address concerns voiced by the residents of Wards 1 and 2 during the appreciative inquiry, which was the culmination of two years of work between the city of Lufkin, Stephen F. Austin State University, Lufkin residents, local nonprofit agencies and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation.

According to the report, the development of a more effective transportation system with access for residents in Wards 1 and 2 is considered a priority by residents and leaders.

Right now, passengers on the Purple Route are having to cross Timberland Drive, according to Jo Penn, BTD marketing and communications coordinator. Stopping at H-E-B’s parking lot is a much safer alternative.

Proposed changes on the Blue Route potentially provide passengers with better access to the medical district facilities along Gaslight Boulevard instead of having to walk along to the street from a bus stop on West Frank Avenue.

“We worked with the city to come up with the best solution,” Penn said. “I think the new routes will help benefit the overall population of Lufkin.

“I’d like to thank the city officials who helped us. Impact Lufkin also had input on the route we had, and I’d like to thank them for their cooperation and help in this process.”

But as wonderful as both those proposed changes sound, they’re not official yet. Lufkin’s City Council will hold a public hearing on the changes at its March 6 meeting. If the proposed routes are not modified due to public comments or from the results of a public hearing, the new routes will begin on March 19.

Maps with the proposed changes are available on all buses, and on the District’s website at Lufkin maps also can be viewed at the Transfer Point located at 302 S. First St. in Lufkin. BTD is accepting written comments or requests for a public hearing until March 5. Comments and requests must be sent to: 1759 N. Earl Rudder Freeway, Bryan, Texas 77803 or via fax at (979) 778-3606.

It’s just a first step, albeit an important one, in moving our city in the right direction.