Tempers are flaring as the City of Lubbock adds yet another city service to the chopping block. Due to budget constraints the city has proposed to cut Citibus routes from a 30 minute service at the bus stop to an hour between buses.
More than a dozen people voiced their opinions in front of the Lubbock Public Transit advisory board about the issue. The meeting was held at the Citibus Plaza on Broadway.
However before the meeting, the public was given ballots to pick one out of four routes that would work best for them, if the times were to change. For instance, the bus could start on the hour, 15 minutes after the hour and so on. Still with the choice, some people say the proposed options could make them late for work.
"I don't know what I am going to do, because I won't know how I can get to work without the bus," said upset Citibus customer, Kim Daniels.
The proposed change is a touchy subject for Kim Daniels, because without Citibus she doesn't have independence.
"I don't see well enough to drive so I have to take the bus everywhere I go, to the doctor to work," said Daniels.
Five years ago she says the city wanted to cut her route completely.
"I need route five and route six," said Daniels.
Now the city wants to cut back the running time.
"If they change it to an hour that means I can be sitting there for an hour and I can't be at work," said Daniels.
After looking at 200 ballots, Citibus general manager John Wilson says the majority preferred option one and option three, which means buses will run 45 minutes after the hour or on the hour.
Wilson says the city cut funds by $550,000. He says if the change does take effect they project to lose $350,000 in revenue.
"We know a lot of people are upset," said Wilson.
Citibus customer Joe Connors is one of them. He says the 30 minute service right now isn't enough.
"I've been since 10 after 10, the bus doesn't run till 11. I hate that because I need to be on my schedule because my doctor's appointments are at different times of the day," said Connors.
He says if the change were to happen it could get worse.
"I know there are hundreds and hundreds of other people that depend on the same half hour run, because who wants to sit out in weather for an hour or an hour in five minutes," said Connors.
If City Council does approve the proposal, Wilson says 16 Citibus employees will lose their job and the new route times would take affect October 3rd.
The next public hearing is at City Hall, 1625 13th street, August 29th at 6 p.m. The advisory board also encourages the public to voice their opinion at the City Council meeting Thursday, which starts at 7:30 a.m.
CLICK HERE to see more information about the routes.
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