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Community News

Posted on: September 24, 2018

Galveston-Houston bus line to end Sept. 28

An Island Transit-operated service connecting Galveston to Houston will end after Friday, Sept. 28th. The Island Express line began operating in September 2017, and is now ending one year later because of lack of ridership and reductions to its outside funding.  

The main reasons for discontinuing the service were the small ridership and the City’s loss of rural grant funding. The bus line averaged fewer than 10 riders a day.

Galveston also is no longer eligible for 5311 rural program bus program funding for the service because of the island’s reclassification back to the small-urban FTA program, which partially paid for the bus line.   

The grant would have provided $120,000 for operation of the line over two years. Without the grant, the City would have had to cover approximately $100,000 for the service in Fiscal Year 2019, which begins Oct. 1. The line did not attract enough daily riders or farebox recovery to make continuing the service an economically-sustainable option.

Communities with more than 50,000 residents are considered urban and do not qualify for this particular U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Galveston surpassed the 50,000-threshold last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Island Express will continue running its three roundtrips on weekdays until Sept. 28. The fare is $9 for a one-way trip to Houston.