HOUMA, La. - When Terrebonne Parish expanded public transit in Thibodaux in September, officials said they knew the system would need some tweaking in the years to come.
As a start, effective Sunday, Good Earth Transit has made adjustments to the bus schedules and added a new street to one of its routes to serve a low-income area near Acadia Drive in Thibodaux. The changes are minor, most ranging from five to 10 minute earlier or later stops than before. But officials said the small changes will make a big difference for some routes.
“It’s not a huge adjustment, maybe five minutes or so,” said Wendell Voisin, public transit administrator. “Adding Acadia Street will serve the community a bit better, so we had to make up for that time.”
The route most riders complained about, said transit manager Yolanda Scott-Reed, was the North Bayou bus from Nicholls State University to Southland Mall in Houma and back.
Scott-Reed said the wait for the next bus was sometimes 30 minutes long because people would miss it by only a few minutes. Some residents even complained they would see the next bus they needed to take ride past them while they were on another.
“We needed to coordinate the route better and try to connect the arrivals and departures so there isn’t such a long waiting period,” Scott-Reed said.
Good Earth has long had two Thibodaux stops — at Nicholls State University and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center — but started sending buses throughout the city toward the end of September.
In late 2010, the Thibodaux City Council approved an agreement with Terrebonne Parish and Good Earth to secure three 14-passenger buses that will run a 43-stop route within Thibodaux city limits.
Since then, transit and parish officials in Terrebonne and Lafourche have been taking suggestions from residents on how to make the service better. Aside from normal complaints administrators said they expected, like late buses, the Nicholls to Southland Mall route was the biggest issue.
To accommodate even the small complaints, Good Earth decided to adjust the schedules by a few minutes.
“Hopefully, now I can get to the mall faster. It usually takes entirely too long so I just don’t go unless I really have to. I’m glad somebody is doing something about it,” said Nicholls student Anissa Thompson.
Revised schedules are available at tpcg.org, as well as on all buses and by fax or mail. Call 850-4616.