By Nathaniel Montoya And Titus Gilner
Amarillo College, Amarillo City Transit and Amarillo National Bank are teaming up to bring free transportation to AC campuses.
As of Aug. 15, students, faculty and staff have free access to all of the Amarillo bus routes throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
The project started with a $25,000 donation from Amarillo National Bank, allowing riders accessibility from 6:20 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
“Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to completing a degree,” Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, AC president, said.
“Once we realized that, and the city had need for more riders, our partners helped us find a solution that wasn’t overly expensive,” he said, adding that the project has the potential to go beyond this school year if students take advantage of the free rides.
“We are committed to working together with different community partners to help individuals reach their higher education, which translates to higher skilled jobs, wages and local economy,” said Elaine Hayes, Amarillo city council member, during a news conference held Aug. 12 to announce the collaboration.
According to Lowery-Hart, nearly 15 percent of the AC student population is currently without a reliable ride to class.
He said he hopes this initiative will increase accessibility for students and staff while also increasing ridership for the Amarillo public bus system.
For information on bus routes, times and stops, go to amarillo.gov or call 806-378-3000.