GoGeo bus system launches with fanfare, free rides in Georgetown

All four GoGeo bus routes stop at the Georgetown Public Library, which serves as a transfer center for the bus system.

All four GoGeo bus routes stop at the Georgetown Public Library, which serves as a transfer center for the bus system.

Public transit buses rolled through Georgetown on a fixed-route system for the first time in city history Monday, and for the next two weeks, rides are free.

The GoGeo bus system launched with four routes that serve the Lone Star Circle of Care, Wolf Ranch, the Rivery, City Lights Theatres, Southwestern University and the Georgetown Recreation Center as well as other locations.

“GoGeo is a big step forward as we provide mobility options for our city,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said Monday to a crowd attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Georgetown Public Library at 402 W. Eighth St., Georgetown.

New bus routes set for service in Georgetown

The library serves as a transfer center for the system, and all four GoGeo routes stop there. GoGeo routes have 42 bus stops, which work crews built over the past four weeks, Ross said.

City officials said they hope the GoGeo system will collect at least 30,000 rider fares during its first year of operation.

Riders can use the bus system for free until Sept. 1.

Weekday service runs from 7 a.m.-6:35 p.m. Saturday service runs from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. There is no bus service on Sundays.

There will be no service on Labor Day, which is Monday, Sept. 4, according to the city.

GoGeo was developed through a partnership between the city; the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, known as CARTS; Capital Metro; the Georgetown Health Foundation; Faith in Action Georgetown; and The Caring Place.

Scott Alarcon, CEO of the Georgetown Health Foundation, said Monday the launch of the new bus system was— in a way—a celebration of the connections between the partners who played a role in GoGeo's development.

One of the first riders to climb aboard a GoGeo bus Monday was Ophelia Ontiveros, whose daughter, Norma Perales, is the executive director of the Southeast Georgetown Community Council.

Ontiveros, who grew up in Georgetown, said Monday she managed to ride all four GoGeo routes on the system’s first morning in service. Some routes took her through parts of town she had not seen in years, she said.

Ontiveros said she hopes more people are made aware of the new transit option as GoGeo continues its first weeks and months of service.

More GoGeo information and route maps are available online at https://gogeo.georgetown.org/.