UPDATE: McLennan County moves forward with rural transit plan - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

MCLENNAN COUNTY

UPDATE: McLennan County moves forward with rural transit plan

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MCLENNAN COUNTY -

McLennan County is moving forward with a plan that would give all residents access to public transportation.  The intent to create a rural transit district was declared during commissioners' court this morning.

The program would provide door-to-door bus service and cost $3 for a one way trip.  Transit leaders say there shouldn't be any additional burden on taxpayers.

Per Texas transportation code, the commissioners must form a committee with elected officials from all 20 cities within McLennan County.  That's expected to take several months. 

Story from July 29:

If you don't have a car in Central Texas, getting around can be pretty tough.  That's why McLennan County commissioners are thinking about creating a rural transit district.  The program would guarantee public transportation to everyone in McLennan County.  Whether residents need to get to work or a doctor's appointment, they'd be covered.

For most folks who live in rural McLennan County, public transportation isn't an option, and the negative repercussions aren't going unnoticed. 

John Hendrickson, General Manager of Waco Transit System says, "There was a big business looking to come here and one of the reasons they didn't come here is because we didn't have a truly good rural transportation program."

Now McLennan County Commissioners are thinking about creating one.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Snell says, "If you have the people, then you've got to get them to where they can work and surprisingly enough, there's a lot of people who don't have the ride."

Waco Transit System leaders support a rural transit district and are willing to do much of the legwork to make it happen.  They say there wouldn't be any additional burden on taxpayers.

Hendrickson says, "There's performance factors in the funding and so as we perform better and provide more tips and things of that nature, then we can see increases in funding."

Waco transit would charge $3 for a one way trip and provide door-to-door service anywhere in the county.  The hours of service would nearly quadruple for riders and include evenings and Saturdays.  It's a plan that so far, has been well received by local leaders.

Snell says, "If we can develop a better transit system throughout McLennan County, I think it's a win for everybody."

If commissioners decide to move forward, they'd have to create a committee and hold a public meeting before taking any action.  They could decide whether they want to take those steps as early as next week.

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