Citibus considers cutting routes

Citibus considers cutting routes

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Big changes could be coming for those who use Citibus services.

At a noon meeting with Citibus and the Transit Advisory Board, Citibus presented a budget which revealed that if routes remain as they are, there will be additional costs.

In order to reduce these prices, routes with the lowest ridership could be eliminated, potentially affecting Lubbock's economy.

Major concerns for the budget next year include fuel costs, the Affordable Care Act, and low employment in the area.

The routes would be along 19th and 34th Street, which transports citizens to hundred of businesses.

These routes not only bring in traffic to the businesses along these roads, but also transport the employees who work there.

Jay Jacobus, chairman of the Transit Advisory Board, says since 2008, ridership has increased. However, there has been funding cuts on the federal and state level.

"We have seen cuts," Jacobus said. "It puts more pressure on the local government, or other venues, to put money into the system."

Cutting these routes would save money, but it would leave a huge area lacking service.

The cuts are not in effect yet, but the board members decided to visit the businesses that will be affected by this change and let them know ahead of time that the Citibus may not visit them in the future.

Melody Huffman, the owner of Bible Barn on 34th Street was shocked when she heard the news, .

"I believe Lubbock depends on the transportation," she said. "There's a lot of people that wait at the bus stop and they come in here to browse, cool off, get warm depending on the weather until their bus is ready. I'm a small mom and pop and I depend on a few impulse buys."

And she's not the only one. Ann Schooler with Jumbo Joe's No. 2 says a lot of her clientele, like Texas Tech students, ride the bus to her restaurant.

"All of these thousands of dollars, bonded dollars, as well to make this a better street, better access to the public and everything," she said, "and then take the bus route out? That seems funny to me."

But that's not the only money Schooler is worried about. She's also worried about the thousands she has poured into advertising with Citibus.

"We have wrapped the bus again for two more years," she said. "It's just starting and our bus isn't going to go up and down our street? That just seems funny to me. I'm going to find out about that."

To see a map of the proposed changes, click here.

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