ABILENE, TX - There are about 500 bus stops in Abilene and hundreds depend on the city bus to get around each day.
465,000 people used the CityLink fixed routes last year. But many of these stops are missing shelters and in most cases, even benches.
"There's nowhere to sit so you have to stand there freezing your tail off," said Heather Couch, a bus commuter.
CityLink recently received a $90,000 federal grant to improve the most popular stops. Route 7, which stops at Walmart and the strip mall on Southwest Drive, is one of the most heavily used.
CityLink General Manager, Ben Herr, is hoping to use that money to put in as many shelters as possible.
"This is a very heavily used system considering the size of Abilene. So we're trying to make it even better for those people who do ride it everyday," said Herr.
Each shelter costs from $3,000 to $10,000, and that's before making it ADA compliant. Herr will recommend where he would like to see new bus stop shelters but the city has the final say. He hopes to use the money in a way that will maximize the number of shelters they can install.
Those who are forced to brave the elements each day while waiting for the bus are hoping the same thing.
"It gets really cold in Abilene sometimes. and with the dust storms it can be hard. having a place to sit down and rest is really cool," said Renee Noffsinger, a bus commuter.
Herr estimates the construction of the new shelters will start sometime next year.
"Bear with us..we're working on it and we do want to do more for the riders that are out there," said Herr.
CityLink is working closely with the Abilene Jaycees Foundation. They have an agreement with the city to put down benches in exchange for advertising money.
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