Lufkin resident Jesse Long has been riding the city bus for nearly 20 years. When the town's new bus depot opened last August, he said East Texas public transportation changed for the better.
"I like it a lot," said Long. "And I like the fact that it's air conditioned in the summertime because it feels good to step into a cool bus after walking a long ways and not having to walk at all."
But former Lufkin Mayor Louis Bronaugh, who the terminal at Jennings Station is named after, said the bus depot is not being used the way it was intended.
The high-tech hub was also supposed to be available for commercial deliveries and charter bus passengers, but that didn't happen because of a misunderstanding between management at the old Kerrville bus station and Coach USA.
"The old Kerrville bus lines was gonna use that but they've since been purchased by Coach USA, and Coach USA was has a contract," said Bronaugh. "And when we built it, we took into consideration Coach USA and they helped us design to their needs."
Located just across the street from Jennings Station, Bronaugh believes the agreement with Kerrville would have made travel safer, more comfortable, and convenient for both local and out-of-town bus riders.
"Certainly, the inner city buses have outgrown the facility; they can't even get in there to pick up passengers," Bronaugh said. "They transfer baggage, packages [are] shipped in in the middle of the street on Shepherd [Street] rather than in the facility."
But Bronaugh said that isn't affecting the ultimate bus-riding experience. Residents from all over Angelina County use Jennings Station. The buses pick up passengers from the depot every 45 minutes and make daily trips to and from Nacogdoches.