Monday, January 14, 2019
  Alumni, Announcements

By Ester Navarro

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – In the future, students and employees at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley who commute via the Vaquero Express Campus Connector route will have new, comfortable bus shelters thanks to a grant received by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC).

The LRGVDC, the regional transit provider in the Rio Grande Valley, recently received a $661,342 grant from the U.S Department of Transportation Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program, which will be used to purchase new bus passenger shelters and amenities in Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen.

Rodney Gomez, executive director for UTRGV Parking and Transportation Services, said the bus shelter project will be an extension of the very productive and mutually beneficial partnership UTRGV already has with LRGVDC.

This project will benefit students in various ways, including:

  • Providing protection from different weather conditions.
  • Offering seating, trash receptacles, bike racks, and landscaping at the bus stops that will be nice and comfortable places to wait for the bus.
  • Making the shelters the focal points for the transportation network, which will make it easy to spot where buses will be stopping, and information signage will be included for students to navigate the system.

Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX), who announced the grant, said the funds will “provide essential funding to regional transit services in South Texas.”

“The new waiting areas will allow the bus system to attract new riders and provide improved service to existing passengers. I look forward to seeing the project completed,” he said.

According to Gomez, the university’s Parking and Transportation Services will obtain three very large bus shelters for the Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen Campuses. The new shelters will replace those currently on the Campus Connecter route that links Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen.

“Shelters have a footprint of about 75 square feet on average. The new large shelters will have a footprint of about 550 square feet,” Gomez said. “This will allow much greater numbers of passengers to wait for their buses to arrive while being protected from sun or rain.”

To learn more about UTRGV’s Parking and Transportation Services, visit or follow them on Facebook an Twitter.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.