New park-and-ride commute service between Galveston and the Clear Lake-League City area kicked off Monday, April 30, with a month of free fares for all riders.
Fares will begin May 29 after the introductory offer. UTMB riders may buy booklets of discount coupons that give them 50 percent off of the regular fare.
UTMB is a partner in the service run by Island Connection, and has helped design a schedule suited for its employees in the two areas.
Island Connection also runs an existing park-and-ride service between Galveston and Texas City. Fares on the Texas City service will begin May 29 for UTMB riders. UTMB riders previously rode for free under a temporary arrangement UTMB put in place to help employees who relocated due to Hurricane Ike in 2008. Discount coupons for both services are on sale at the UTMB Bookstore in the Moody Medical Library, 914 Market St. Buyers will need to show UTMB identification. Credit cards will be accepted. Booklets will be sold separately for Galveston-Texas City, and Galveston-Victory Lakes-Clear Lake Center. The prices:
- Victory Lakes-Clear Lake Center: Booklets will cost $75. The coupons will be honored for $150 in fares. The regular fare is $3 each way.
- Texas City: Booklets will cost $50. The coupons will be honored for $100 in fares. The regular fare is $2 each way. Riders with UTMB identification may ride on the line for free until May 29.
Riders may pay on the bus but they must pay with cash, and have the exact amount. Discount fares are only available to riders with coupons.
The new service between Galveston and Victory Lakes will operate on weekdays with eight scheduled round-trips a day during peak commute hours in the morning and evening.
The 35-seat buses have digital TVs and Wi-Fi access. Two buses will feature exterior designs depicting “Old Red,” the historic Ashbel Smith Building.
Island Connect is a joint operation between two transit services: the Gulf Coast Center’s Connect Transit and the City of Galveston’s Island Transit.