A long-awaited bus line connecting Galveston, Texas City and ultimately Houston is a step closer to hitting the road.
The Texas City commission voted 5-0 Wednesday to approve an agreement with the city of Galveston, which is managing the line, for a stop in Texas City. The agreement commits $40,000 over the next two years to be paid to Galveston for the line. The commission approved money for the line last year.
It’s still unknown when exactly the line might start running, but the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County board is slated to vote on it in April, Galveston spokeswoman Jaree Hefner said.
The entities involved had planned to start the line last fall, but it was delayed to work out scheduling and other details, Hefner said earlier this year.
The Galveston County Commissioners Court will also need to approve an agreement with the city of Galveston for the bus line, Hefner said. The county has also agreed to spend $40,000 over the next two years to fund the line.
Whether the bus line continues after its two-year pilot period will be determined by ridership numbers, but Texas City officials said the line could be very beneficial to residents.
There are limited public transportation options available for getting people from Texas City or Galveston to Houston, said Doug Kneupper, city engineer and planning director for Texas City.
The line could also be good for boosting tourism from Houston to the area.
The city of Galveston is planning for the line to make stops in Galveston, Texas City and the Bay Area Park-and-Ride near Webster. Officials have been working with the transit authority to coordinate times the line can best connect with Houston’s transit authority buses at the park-and-ride stop.
The city of Galveston received a $120,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help fund the project over a two-year trial period. Galveston, Texas City and county officials also approved resolutions to contribute $40,000 each.