The second Monday of the month is time for the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) monthly meeting. We have five committees: education, health, employment, housing, and transportation. Originally, I served on the education committee because I was a teacher. Then I switched to health because I read about my disabling illnesses. Then I was recruited for transportation because I’m a frequent bus rider in a city where buses are neglected.
We’re planning a second field trip for the transportation committee; my idea was accepted. The goal is to get people who own cars to take a bus to a far away destination. This way we can target an atypical population for bus ridership. We meet at lunch time so that can be part of the excursion. The five bus lines run once every hour-and-a-half usually.
A few months ago, we met at the second hub, the Bergfeld Shopping Center in south central Tyler. Tyler is a city that has grown south over the years far more than any other direction. We took the Yellow SW to Fresh, a Whole Foods style version of Brookshire’s, a grocery chain in East Texas that started in Tyler. Sure enough, we had time to eat, shop, and in my case, visit a tutoring service owned by a favorite acquaintance.
Next time, we’re going to meet at the central depot in mid April and travel way south on the Purple South to the new Cumberland Shopping Center. My next task will be to look up the stores there. I’ve already proposed that we find a restaurant and have some beer or wine, another advantage to riding a bus, as opposed to driving a car. The eventual goal is to advertise parties for the general community to go to these far away, ritzy places. I read in a bus magazine that they have such outings in Tampa and El Paso. Wish us luck in increasing bus ridership in Tyler.