New Braunfels has a transportation problem. If you’re a tourist who want to use a park and ride to get to events or to get to the river, chances are you’re covered.
If you’re a resident who lives here and needs to get the grocery store, drug store or many other places, you better have a car and you better have money for gas and maintenance.
That reality means that many low income or older people in New Braunfels are often trapped — dependent on the kindness and willingness of family members and friends.
It’s a tenuous way to live for anyone, but particularly for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
The city is growing so rapidly that it sorely needs a comprehensive bus solution. While there are some bus options — Alamo Regional Transport offers rides to human service sites — they aren’t the kind of option that people can take advantage of for everyday life. A couple of years ago the city opened some roads to golf carts, but that was an alternative that benefited the already affluent.
A study being conducted by the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking at a fixed-route public transit service for the city. If you want to weigh in on the topic, and you should, online surveys of residents and businesses will be accepted at www.nbtexas.org/transit through Monday, Nov. 18.
Like affordable housing, public transit is a challenge that New Braunfels and its partners must meet head on to help secure the future for all.
Tourism is the lifeblood of this community. Making sure that those people who visit can move around and enjoy all that New Braunfels has to offer is important, but we simply must do a better job of taking care of the people who live here, work here and pay taxes here.
A public transit system is long overdue in New Braunfels.
This process should make that clear and point the way toward real sustainable solutions.