MIDLAND Waiting to board a bus back to Odessa Monday afternoon, Rocky Boespflug said the new intercity route will be a great way for him to save on fuel costs.
The Odessan works jobs in Midland and said before EZ Rider’s EZ Express route started Monday, he would drive himself. At $2 a ticket, he can now save by riding.
“It’s a lot cheaper,” he said.
Another man waiting to board was heading to the Greyhound station. In downtown Odessa, a veteran boarded early Monday so he could visit a fellow Vietnam veteran who lives in Midland. Neither of the men drive and before the bus they didn’t have a lot of options for getting together.
Karen York, chairwoman of the Midland-Odessa Urban Transit District Board, said stories of individuals having more ability to get around is what they wanted to hear when they started working to establish the route. She and other leaders gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the launch of the intercity service, which will run between Midland and Odessa three times each morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday.
“It’s giving people the freedom to live their lives the way they want to live,” York said.
Being funded during its first three years by a $1.6 million federal transit grant, the route will run through a contract with All Aboard America.
Buses leave downtown Midland and Odessa at 6:15 a.m., 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. each weekday morning and then again at 3:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. each weekday afternoon.
From downtown Midland, the bus will stop at Midland College and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin before going to downtown Odessa.