BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The City of Brownsville is expanding its transportation services for residents.

The Brownsville City Commission approved a bus stop improvement project in 2022, adding 30 new shelters for bus stops throughout the city.

Now, the project is in the next phase.

The city commission approved the contract Tuesday to build the foundation and install the bus shelters.   

“The next phase is the installation and it’s not just going out there and setting them up but also prepping the site,” Roy De Los Santos, Commissioner for District 3 said. 

The money for these shelters comes from the city’s surplus sales tax revenue. The cost for the 30 shelters is estimated to cost over $300,000.

De Los Santos says many residents use the Metro as their main source of transportation.   

Rafael Cisneros works in the city and occasionally uses bus transportation, says he will use the Metro more frequently with these improvements. 

“You know it’s more cheaper for me, the gasoline and all that stuff. I just have one car for the whole family, sometimes I have to use the bus,” Cisneros said.

Another Brownsville resident added there are others who use bus services regularly in their day-to-day life.

“A lot of people do use the bus stops. There’s a lot of people who can’t drive or don’t have the money for a car,” Daniel Sierra, a Brownsville resident said.

“There’s a significant enough percentage of our local population that uses Brownsville Metro service that it warrants continued investment and that’s why we continue to update our fleet and make enhancements where we can,” De Los Santos said. 

The shelters will have solar panels to generate electricity for the lights and USB ports that will be accessible for riders.

“The biggest part of it in South Texas is the fact that it is very hot down here, especially during summers. So ensuring that we’ve got shade and a place to sit for some of our riders, especially our seniors, or those with special needs is very, very important,” De Los Santos adds. 

De Los Santos says the safety of their community is their main priority, following the tragedy that killed 8 and injured 10 at a bus stop on Minnesota road in the Brownsville last month.

The bus stop is expected to see some major changes soon. 

“That location is going to be relocated, close proximity by to a place with much more ample space and a full stop will be put in there in the future,” De Los Santos said. 

The commissioner says the next phase of the project would be to see where more shelters are needed around the city. 

“We’ll continue to look at opportunities for additional shelters to be added at and address any other needs that we have out there,” he adds.