Hundreds of people turned out for the dedication of Jennings Station Tuesday. State and city leaders talked about the need for improved public transportation, but The Jennings Family talked about its importance to them.
"The elderly people, the people from different outlying areas that need to come into medical facilities, moms that need to transport their kids to medical facilities; I think it's just going to be a tremendous boom," said Neil Jennings-Naranjo.
The Jennings Family donated land and money to get the project started. Their ancestors moved to that very spot in 1881 when it was just over an acre. Decades later, The Jennings Family wants to make sure that area remains a big part of their community.
Stella Francis Jennings-Naranjo said, "I didn't want it to be some kind of a business that was going to come and go. I wanted the location to be used for something that would help everybody and I am very pleased and thrilled that it's going to be the station."
Neil Jennings said, "My great-great grandfather, Alexander Ben Jennings, was the superintendent of the Houston, Texas East and West Texas railroad. It was coming through Homer and his crew got thrown in jail after a saloon fight. It took him four days to bail them out. None of the local Homer boys got thrown in jail or fined, [so] he had a surveyor re-route the train around Homer. They knew in those days that trains made towns and he'd say 'I never really liked that town'."
The bus depot isn't just for bus riders, there is also a commercial need for it. Small freight is often transported to Lufkin from nearby Houston and Dallas by bus.
Along with the new hub, the Brazos Transportation District also plans to improve poorly-marked bus stops and add more routes throughout the City of Lufkin.