WICHITA FALLS (KFDX) — Wichita Falls city councilors are authorizing more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief from the Federal Transit Administration to make up for a drop in public transportation revenue.
For riders like Chad Norris, being able to catch a bus means more time with his family.
“My vehicle broke down a couple of states over and I got a ride here and the falls ride system has really been helping me out,” Norris said.
“I definitely think it helps out. It helps me out a ton. I’m getting home to my family faster and my daughter needs me in this time of crisis.”
It’s a service people depend on and one that Wichita falls Public Transportation Administrator Jenny Stevens said has kept rolling during the pandemic and will keep rolling after it.
“It’s down. Obviously. With Sheppard Air Force base closed for over a year, they just recently opened back up, we are seeing our revenues incline. But it has declined because people are not riding,” Stevens said.
City council members are moving to obtain almost $640,000 in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal transit administration to offset revenue losses.
“In our revenues, we program for about $285,000 to about $290,000s. We haven’t gotten an exact amount yet but if I’m to venture a guess we were probably down in the $100,000 dollar range, if not lower,” stevens said.
But as the pandemic appears to be fading, Stevens said there’s reason to believe things will get back to normal.
“In 2019, we had no issues with the decline in revenues. We were actually doing really really well,” Stevens said.
Turning the corner on COVID-19, one bus at a time.
The Sheppard Express bus route has opened back up and all buses are back to operating on their normal schedules.