Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Public transportation is best when updated
Public transportation is an important tool in any city. In places like New York City or Atlanta, subways and elevated trains allow residents to travel from one side of the city to the other for a relatively low cost.
In Victoria, our transit system consists of several bus routes with stops near residential areas and major shopping centers or services. Adults can ride the bus for a dollar a trip, $9 for 10 trips or $50 for a monthly pass on fixed or job access routes. The service also offers para-transit service, which offers curb-to-curb transportation to approved individuals with mobility problems, and R-Transit service, which allows residents to request curb-to-curb transportation at least 24 hours in advance.
Each of these services are important pieces of what makes Victoria successful. The variety of services available, as well as the inexpensive fares help to provide a reasonable way for anyone to travel around town.
However, certain important services, including Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, have moved from their previous locations in recent years. Some of the new locations are not on the current transit routes. The four listed above moved from the Town Plaza Mall on Laurent Street to the 2300 block of Leary Lane. This leaves residents who need these services, some of them with limited mobility, to walk across private property and up an incline to reach the offices.
We applaud Ed Nelson, of Hallettsville, for bringing attention to this concern. These agencies exist to offer assistance to residents, but how can residents get help if they can't get to the agencies that provide it?
We are glad the city of Victoria is planning to work with Victoria Transit to adjust the current routes to include a stop on Leary Lane for the four agencies mentioned above. Development Services Director Jared Mayfield said the city plans to remove a low-user stop when the Leary Lane stop is added. The city will also look at providing a shelter and bench at the new stop.
We applaud the city of Victoria and Victoria Transit for their quick response to these concerns. Public transportation is a vital tool to the health of our community, and we are glad it will be updated to continue serving those who need it most. We look forward to seeing the new stop at Leary Lane and the improved service it will bring our community.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.