A bus transit system between Texas State and Kyle may no longer be an option due to the recent findings from the U.S. 2010 census.
The census re-zoned the urban and metropolitan districts of South Texas. Kyle was formerly part of the San Marcos region, but is now considered part of the Austin metropolitan area. This came as a surprise to people working on the idea of a bus system connecting the two cities.
The new re-districting means any federal funding from the Kyle area will not be used in San Marcos. This funding includes the anticipated money for the consolidated bus system for the two areas.
“There’s been sort of step back,” said Bill Nance, vice president of finance and support services. “All of the consultants that had worked with us over the past few years thought it was a pretty safe assumption that Kyle would be included with San Marcos.”
Laurie Moyer, San Marcos assistant city manager, said approximately seven urban areas were anticipated to be added to the state of Texas. In actuality, San Marcos was the only new small urban area added. Smaller towns such as Kyle and New Braunfels were added to surrounding metropolitan areas.
Moyer said while the re-zoning does not prohibit Kyle and San Marcos from forming a connected bus system, Kyle would have to petition for the federal dollars to be brought into the bus system.
The new transit system would stop at main points within Kyle and San Marcos, and make door-to-door stops for the disabled. One of the main stops in San Marcos would be Texas State.
The transit system would transport students to classes along with the current Texas State tram system. Texas State’s current contract with First Transit will expire in the next fiscal year. However, Nance said the university will have to extend the contract because there is not sufficient funding for a new transit system within San Marcos.
“What it may mean is that the university continues to run its own bus system, and San Marcos separately does what it needs to do to serve the non-student population,” Nance said.
Joe Richmond, director of transportation services for Texas State, said while the new re-zoning and federal funding decrease will not affect Texas State, it hurts San Marcos. He said without the funding Kyle would bring in, San Marcos would need to come up with all the funding on its own.
Moyer said San Marcos would have to create an urbanized transit district and system to receive state funding. She said San Marcos will probably contract with CARTS for another year. Beginning October 2013 the city will operate on another transit system, possibly a team effort with Texas State.
“From the public’s viewpoint it might look pretty much the same,” Moyer said. “It’s the same buses, but it’s paid for differently.”