A pair of route changes has been proposed for Lufkin’s Brazos Transit District.
The new BTD map includes two changes, 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.
“Before, they were having to cross Timberland,” said Jo Penn, BTD Marketing and Communications Coordinator. “(The new route) is a safer alternative.”
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.
“Before, our fixed route didn’t go down that road (Gaslight),” Penn said. “Now the general public can access the medical district.”
Though the routes aren’t set in stone yet, a public hearing will be held on the changes at the March 6 Lufkin’s City Council meeting.
“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.”
In September 2017, Impact Lufkin released a study on the community, a culmination of work between the city of Lufkin, Stephen F. Austin State University, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and local residents and nonprofit agencies. The study cited strengths and weaknesses in the Lufkin community and cited transportation as an area of improvement.
“Transportation and beautification were on the top of the list that came out of the report,” Councilman Robert Shankle said. “Brazos coming in and making that a priority, that’s huge. They’re listening to the people.”
In response to the perceived need for improved transportation options in the area, BTD, Impact Lufkin and the city of Lufkin have worked together to come up with new routes for the public transportation provider to better suit the needs of Lufkin’s residents. Following a pair of meetings, a new map has been drawn up and proposed, with the new routes adoption pending a public hearing by the Lufkin City Council.
“It’s been a long time coming. Brazos has been trying to help, the city has been trying to help, Impact has been trying to help,” Shankle said. “Within two meetings, we came up with a plan. Everybody worked together to make sure it benefits all parties involved.
“I’d like to thank Impact Lufkin, the city and Brazos for coming together for this. It only took two meetings for this to happen. Within two meetings, everything was ready and moving forward.”
Maps with the proposed changes are available on all buses, and on the District’s website at btd.org.
Lufkin maps can also 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, TX 77803 or via fax at (979) 778-3606.
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.