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CARTS rolls out new system

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CARTS, the public transit system, has rebranded its service in San Marcos as THE BUS. In partnership with THE BUS, the city of San Marcos has created a newer, cleaner and greener city bus system with hopes to revolutionize San Marcos transit.

THE BUS launched Oct. 12 with a soft opening and a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the new transit system. The service now includes extended service hours, five new busses, free Wi-Fi, monthly passes and reduced monthly passes. THE BUS runs on ultra-clean diesel with a 29-seat interior serving 15 new bus shelters that will be added around town.

THE BUS offers free transportation for Texas State students and half-price rates for seniors, persons with disabilities and elementary through high school students. A one-way ride can be purchased for $1, an all-day pass for $2 and a monthly pass for $30.

Dana Platt, CARTS community services director, said they knew it was time for a change, as San Marcos is becoming an urbanized community.

“We are hoping that the new transit system will be more comfortable and easier for riders to utilize,” Platt said. “Route modifications and extended service hours will also be beneficial to those who choose to use THE BUS for their commute.”

Kristi Wyatt, director of communications and intergovernmental relations for the City of San Marcos, said the City has worked in partnership with CARTS for several years. After noticing there were opportunities to enhance the bus service, the two worked together.

“We always talk about the need for better transportation in our city, and I think that that’s the struggle of every city,” Wyatt said. “We obviously have a lot of growth, and with growth comes traffic. If we can have more people utilize that, we can create more multimodal transportation within the city.”

Wyatt said the launch of THE BUS was a huge success with much of the community coming out to show its support. Because the service has been expanded, people who otherwise could not have taken advantage of the transportation are now able to utilize it.

Alma Loredo, dietary aide for San Marcos Rehabilitation and Health Care, has used the transit system for three months and said the new extended hours has been beneficial for her commute from work.

“You can pay $2 for all day,” Loredo said. “It’s awesome. I like the big buses. (They’re) more spacious. It’s helped me a lot.”

THE BUS will be offering free transit for early voters on Nov. 1 and Election Day on Nov. 8. Users must show their Voter Registration cards.