by Victor Lopez
WEST ODESSA-- Nobody likes to deal with traffic. For many people in the area, walking just isn't an option. Now with this type of service hitting the streets, you definitely won't want to miss the bus.
"We take people from those rural areas, into the Midland-Odessa area for work, training, school, anything related to those," JARC Coordinator, Deedra Cope, said.
West Odessa will join Big Spring, Andrews and Stanton, as a pick up point for buses from West Texas Opportunities. According to Ector County Commissioner Freddie Gardner, "The object is to furnish transportation to folks that need to get into the city to get to their job or get to Odessa College, UTPB."
TXDOT provided a grant in 2007 and the routes followed the next year.
"During that time, we looked into some other areas around the Midland-Odessa area, and West Odessa was an area that had transportation needs. That is where we have expanded into, at this point," Cope explained .
The West Odessa route will pick up at 6:45, Monday through Friday mornings at Lowes on West University and Redondo. From there, riders head to Odessa or Midland. Cope says, when their day is done, it's back home, the same way, "We make those same stops, coming back through in the evening. This allows the opportunity for people to have full day's work, full day's school schedules."
She also said, West Texas Opportunites is a rural service. They needed someone who runs in the city, "So we partnered up with EZ Rider and they get on one of their buses, on the correct route and that bus gets them to the designated location."
According to Cope, there are some other perks besides getting someone else to do the driving for you, "You don't have to spend your gas on your own vehicle. You don't have the wear and tear on the vehicle."
Commissioner Freddie Gardner hopes all his constituents will jump on board, "Get the word out to people in West Odessa, that this is available and I believe they will take advantage of it. I think it's a great service and I'm 100% behind it."
West Texas Opportunities will be in front of Lowes on West University and Redondo on Saturday afternoon from one to four to visit with West Odessa residents and answer any questions.
If you live in the surrounding areas and think your community could benefit from this service, have your County Commissioners contact Deedra Cope at West Texas Opportunities at 1-800-245-9028 and ask for details about bringing the JARC program to your town.