StarMetro launched a new bus service Friday to serve Lake Jackson residents north of Fred George and Crowder roads.
The FLEX route runs during the weekday as a “curb to curb” on-demand shuttle service for transportation to any location within an 11-square mile area surrounding Lake Jackson.
According to the website, the new route transports residents to Oak Valley Shopping Center, Lake Jackson Trading Post and any other location within the designated area. The route also includes a connection access point at the Lake Jackson Town Center to connect with two of StarMetro’s fixed routes – Big Bend and Forest. This connection allows riders to access all of StarMetro’s bus routes.
“What we’ve done today is regained independence for a lot of people,” City Commissioner Scott Maddox said. “This is about freedom and independence and self-worth and restoring what they once had or, for some, have never had.”
County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindleyreflected on residents who will benefit from the additional route.
“I remember one couple who both had jobs with kids and one car and needed some way to keep their job,” Lindley said. “So this is a life affirming thing, very helpful thing …”
Although comments were not on the agenda, one resident, Walter Dartland, executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, left with one concern about the process.
“I wish there were convenient stations in Lake Jackson to purchase passes for the shuttle,” Dartland said. “My grandmother will have to have accommodations to even purchase the pass before she can utilize the FLEX.”
Lake Jackson FLEX is available to the general public. To make reservations, call 850-891-5199 between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.