LAGO VISTA, Texas (KXAN) — Thomas Gordon relies on Capital Metro’s 214 bus route to run his daily business errands between Jonestown and Lago Vista.
“I pride myself on fast turn around, my customers appreciate it,” says Gordon. While public transportation is valuable to Gordon, Lago Vista city officials believe they can save money by cutting off service to the route; but they’re leaving the final vote up to Lago Vista residents in November. Even if Lago Vista votes to leave the service area, Capital Metro will still continue service to outlying areas like Jonestown through Route 214.
The 214 route has been a part of the Lago Vista community for 30 years and runs 16 routes a day. Lago Vista City Manager Melissa Byrne Vossmer says a city committee studied the bus route for two and half months to determine if voters should decide whether the bus route is still needed.
“Their decision was based on the information that there was low ridership and there are things we need to be doing as a community with that money,” explains Vossmer.
The city of Lago Vista would save more than $420,000 in sales tax to Capital Metro if they get rid of the route. Residents would then vote on how that money should be spent: whether on city streets, parks or community facilities.
City officials say they have budgeted nearly $76,000 for a new, but limited, transit system if the 214 route is eliminated. The new system would offer six routes a day.
Gordon understands that ridership is low but he believes if the route is eliminated he and many others will be stranded.
“There’s no doubt that there’s fewer people on the bus. Gas prices are low. Kids are buying cars,” says Gordon. “In my belief [that] it’s short sighted because gas prices are going to go back up and people are going to be stuck.”