Get to know Waco Transit! Services At-A-Glance

by Jessica Maxwell

Did you know Waco Transit System provides more than just city bus service to the citizens of Waco and surrounding areas? Scroll through the list below to see all the services offered by your local transportation system – give transit a try!

Fixed Route (City Buses)
Waco Transit System has nine fixed bus routes, which service Waco and surrounding communities. Fare for a single, one-way ride is $1.50. A day pass can be purchased for $3.00 and is good for unlimited fixed route rides for the duration of the calendar day, during normal operating hours. All fixed route buses can be tracked at ridewaco.com or by downloading the free Ride Systems app. For a route map and additional fare info, visit wacotransitsystem.com.

  • Weekday Service Hours: 5:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
  • Saturday Service Hours: 6:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Contact: (254) 750-1613
Funding Sources: Federal 5307 Grant Funding, fares, charter fares, TxDOT State Urban Funding and local match revenue, including advertising and contract revenue

Silo District Trolley
The free Silo District Trolley is designed to make getting around Downtown Waco fast and convenient. The trolley’s route makes it easy to get to Waco’s most popular shopping, dining and art venues in the downtown area, including Magnolia Market.  Track the trolley at silotrolley.com or download the free Ride Systems app. The trolley runs Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Funding Source: City of Waco

LaSalle-Circle Shuttle
The LaSalle-Circle Shuttle is a free shuttle that connects Downtown Waco to shops, museums, eateries (including Magnolia Table) and more along LaSalle Avenue.  Track the shuttle at silotrolley.com or download the free Ride Systems app. The shuttle runs Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Funding Source: City of Waco

Baylor University Shuttle (B.U.S.)
The Baylor University Shuttle (B.U.S.) is operated by Waco Transit System and serves as the fixed route transportation system for Baylor University. Students and visitors are encouraged to ride the B.U.S., which not only helps reduces vehicular traffic and parking congestion on campus, but also increases access to campus activities. B.U.S. service is available to riders at no charge. Track the B.U.S at bushuttle.com or download the free Ride Systems app. For a route map and operating schedule, visit baylor.edu.
Funding Source: Baylor University

Demand Response Service (DRS)
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Waco Transit System provides door-to-door service for individuals who are physically or mentally unable to use the fixed route system. Specific qualifying criteria must be met. To learn more about the application process or to schedule a ride, call (254) 750-1620.
Funding Source: Partial Federal 5307 Funding, DRS fares, Federal 5310 Grants (for elderly & disabled trips) and Medicaid

McLennan County Rural Transit District
The McLennan County Rural Transit District aims to increase ridership throughout the county and improve access to jobs, education, healthcare and more. Destinations include anywhere in McLennan or adjacent counties, as long as one of your stops originates from or travels to a rural address. Trips can be arranged by calling Waco Transit System at least 24 hours in advance. Fare for one-way, in-county trips is $3.00, and fare for one-way, adjacent-county trips is $5.00. Fees also apply for guests. For more information or to book a trip, call (254) 750-1620.
Funding Source: Federal 5311 Grant, TxDOT State Rural Grant, Federal 5311 Mileage funds, Federal 5310 Grant (for elderly & Disabled), fares, local match including Medicaid, advertising, and scheduling revenues

Waco Regional Airport Shuttle
If you need transportation to and/or from the Waco Regional Airport, Waco Transit System can help. Trips are based upon availability and can be arranged by calling Waco Transit System at least 24 hours in advance at (254) 750-1620 or 877-875-RIDE (7433). Ride anywhere within McLennan County for only $3.00 each way and $5.00 each way for trips to adjacent counties. Fees also apply for guests.

  • Weekday Service Hours: 5:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
  • Saturday Service Hours: 6: 15 a.m. to 8: 15 p.m. and 8: 30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.

Funding Source: Partial Federal 5307 Funding, fares and Federal 5310 Grants (for elderly & disabled trips)  

Evening LINK
Evening LINK is a shared ride, door-to-door employment and training transportation service available to anyone who works or attends training and lives in the Greater Waco Area. Service is available from 8:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Ride anywhere within the Waco urbanized area for $3.00 each way.  Fees also apply for guests. Call (254) 750-1620 for reservations. Please call at least 24 hours in advance to ensure availability.
Funding Source (through August 31, 2018): Rural Discretionary grant funds awarded from TxDOT through 2016 Coordinated Call for Projects, fares, local match in both in-kind and cash contributions from numerous organizations and businesses

Marlin LINK (Route #10)
Waco Transit System’s Route #10 services Robinson, Riesel, Marlin, Chilton and Golinda. The service connects riders to the Waco Transit System transfer station, as well as to Greyhound. For a route map and fare info, visit wacotransitsystem.com.
Weekday Service Hours: 5:50 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
No Saturday Service
Funding Source (through August 31, 2018): Rural Discretionary grant funds awarded from TxDOT through 2016 Coordinated Call for Projects, fares, local match in both in-kind and cash contributions from numerous organizations and businesses

Sanderson Farms LINK
Do you need transportation to and/or from Sanderson Farms for work? Waco Transit System offers a shuttle to and from the Waco Transit terminal and Sanderson Farms. Sanderson Farms employees can contact the Sanderson Farms Human Resources Department to learn more about signing up to receive a monthly bus pass for this route.
Weekday Service Hours: 7:15 a.m. to 5:10 p.m.
No Saturday Service

Funding Source (through August 31, 2018): Rural Discretionary grant funds awarded from TxDOT through 2016 Coordinated Call for Projects, fares, local match in both in-kind and cash contributions from numerous organizations and businesses

Safe Ride Home Program on New Year’s Eve
Waco Transit System’s “Safe Ride Home” program provides free shared ride shuttle service within the Waco urbanized area on New Year’s Eve, usually between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Advance reservations are preferred. Same-day requests are based upon availability. Call (254) 750-1620 beginning December 1 to book your free trip and/or determine coverage area.
Funding Source: Waco Transit System and community sponsors

Travel Training
Because we recognize that riding a city bus for the first time (and navigating the routes/time points) can indeed be intimidating, Waco Transit System offers free travel training upon request. Call (254) 750-1900 for more information or to schedule an appointment. An informative “How to Ride the Bus” video series and list of FAQ is also located on the Waco Transit System website at wacotransitsystem.com.

GPS Bus Tracking (Ride Systems):
Track any Waco Transit System fixed route at ridewaco.com or by downloading the free Ride Systems app on your smartphone and selecting “Waco Transit” as your agency.
Funding Source: Federal 5307 Grant Funding, fares, charter fares, TxDOT State Urban Funding, and local match revenue including advertising, Medicaid, scheduling revenue and contract revenue


Jessica Maxwell is the Director of Marketing for Waco Transit System. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Journalism and Communication Studies. Originally from Illinois, she moved to Texas with her husband in 2013, and they have been happily settled in Waco ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and experiencing all the great outdoors has to offer. You can reach Jessica at jessicam@wacotx.gov.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

 

Is Your Child College, Career, or Military Ready?

By Robin Wilson, Ph.D.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I decided to retire from being a campus principal to return to school to complete my doctorate. I have always loved to learn, and I knew I was ready to embark on a new journey…even though I was a little late in life to be pursuing a Ph.D. While pursuing this degree, I ended up focusing on how to better educate our local high school seniors, teachers, and administrators on what it takes to be college and career ready. There are personal skills, such as time management, study skills, self-awareness, and persistence, required. There are also academic classes, such as dual credit courses or AP (Advanced Placement) courses, that will help prepare a student for college or a career. But, in 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) added a new term and a new standard of expectation for graduating seniors: CCMR.

What is CCMR?

To better meet the expectations of the 60x30TX, TEA expects all seniors, beginning with the class of 2018, to be College, Career, or Military Ready (CCMR).  Each graduating student must meet at least one of the following to be considered CCMR:

College Ready

  • Earn at least a score of 3 on any Advanced Placement exam or at least a score of 4 on any International Baccalaureate examination
  • Meet Texas Success Initiative (TSI) minimum score requirements in reading and mathematics*
  • Complete a dual credit course/courses (earning at least 3 hours in English or Mathematics OR at least 9 hours in any subject)

Career Ready

  • Earn an industry-based certification
  • Complete a Career/Technical Education (CTE) course aligned with an approved industry-based certification
  • Graduate with a completed Individualized Education Program (IEP) and workforce readiness (for certain students served through special education programs)

Military Ready

  • Enlist in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marines).

While TEA gives students a variety of ways in which to meet the CCMR, many of these methods will not be known to students (like the TSI or available industry-based certifications/CTE courses aligned to certifications) nor will it be known to students that they should report to their schools if whether they enlist in the US Armed Forces. Therefore, everyone needs to be more familiar with this new requirement.

What is TSI?

The TSI (Texas Success Initiative) is the placement test used by colleges and universities to help determine if your child is ready for college-level courses. Although your child can be “admitted” to a higher education institution based on his or her ACT or SAT scores, “placement” in college-level coursework will depend on his or her TSI scores.  If your child does not meet the standards or exemptions below, he or she will be enrolled in a developmental education program designed to help him/her become college ready. These developmental courses do not count for college credit, but your child will still have to pay the cost of enrolling in these college-level courses.

Minimum scores on TSI to be considered-college ready:

  • Mathematics: 350
  • Reading: 351
  • Writing: a placement score of at least 340, and an essay score of at least 4: OR a placement score of less than 340 and an ABE Diagnostic level of at least 4 and an essay score of at least 5.

Exemptions from the TSI Reading/Writing assessment can be earned based on ACT/SAT scores or course completion:

  • Score a 23 or higher composite on the ACT and a minimum of 19 on the English section
  • Score 480 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and writing section (no composite score needed)
  • Receive credit for completing the College Preparatory English course

Exemptions from the TSI Mathematics assessment can be earned based on ACT/SAT scores or course completion:

  • Score a 23 or higher composite on the ACT and a minimum of 19 on the Mathematics section
  • Score 530 or higher on the SAT Mathematics section (no combined score needed)
  • Receive credit for completing the College Preparatory Mathematics course

What do these new standards mean for our school districts?

These new standards change the expectations for graduating seniors and how our high schools will receive their “A-F grade” from TEA (https://tea.texas.gov/A-F). The elementary and middle school campuses’ grades from TEA will still be based on STAAR test scores (100%), but high schools will now be graded on STAAR scores (40%), CCMR rate (40%), and graduation rate (20%). This new accountability for high schools will take the work of a village to ensure that all of our seniors graduate ready to pursue a degree at a higher education institution or move into the work force career-ready.

How can parents help make sure their child is college and career ready?

Parents can help in numerous ways:

  • Encouraging your child to not only take dual credit or Advanced Placement courses but also perform well in those courses and on their exams;
  • Reminding your child to take his or her opportunities to take the TSI seriously and to study any practice materials available for the TSI;
  • Aiding your child in finding opportunities to earn an industry-based certificate (if their goal is to be career-ready) through participation in CTE courses, the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy or the Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy;
  • Urging your child to utilize the college planning guide.

Your local high schools also need you to help educate your neighbors about CCMR. The new standards can be conquered, and our high schools can continue to provide our students with skills and knowledge necessary to be successful, but it will take the work of a village. Help spread the word in our community on what it takes to be college, career, or military ready!


Dr. Robin Wilson is the College Readiness Coordinator and AVID District Director for Waco Independent School District.  She earned her Masters degree from University of Texas at Tyler and her Doctorate at Baylor University. She has worked as a classroom teacher, campus principal, a district administrator, an AVID professional development staff member, and a university adjunct professor.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.