Hundreds of people from all over East Texas depend on public transportation to get to work, go shopping and run errands. Being surrounded by so many people you don't know can be an unpleasant experience, but Lufkin officials said that doesn't mean it's unsafe.
Jennings Station security guard, T.H. Wilson, said, "Brazos Transit District is taking precautions - that I'm not at liberty to divulge - to make sure that the passengers are well-protected and I don't think there have been any complaints as far as anything happening on the buses. There have been some incidents here at the station where we had a few things to occur whereas I was able to resolve those."
Longtime Lufkin resident Bettie Maebarnes has been a bus rider for more than 30 years. She feels safe using the city's services because many of the other passengers are people she knows. But Maebarnes wishes she didn't have to walk so far before being picked up; something that isn't always safe for the elderly.
"I mostly know my surroundings, [but] looks like they could have buses that go up and down these streets [where bus riders live]; in some places they do," said Maebarnes.
Sylvia Yarbrough started using public transportation nearly 20 years ago because it was her only way to get around. She still rides the bus occasionally when she doesn't feel like driving and never worries about her safety when she's on board.
"The drivers are conscientious," Yarbrough said. "They do pay attention to the patrons. I do watch for my own safety, but having someone else drive, I can observe and see things that I normally couldn't see if I was driving, and for that reason, I feel comfortable."