Students struggling with increasing gas prices will now have an option to ride the new 'Ranger Ride' shuttle to and from Kilgore this semester-free of charge.
The shuttle, provided by East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) Rural Transit District, will transport students to and from Longview and Kilgore five days a week at no charge to KC students with a current identification card. The shuttle will begin on the first day of classes, Aug. 25.
"With the steep increase in gas prices, we are excited to partner with ETCOG to offer this service," said Mike Jenkins, Vice President of Student Development. "Earlier this summer, Nate Whitten (KC math instructor) suggested the idea so we began looking at ways to offer this service, and we are thrilled that we are able to pull it off so soon. The students who ride will definitely reap the benefits, and you can't beat the price."
Jenkins said that KC will also conduct additional student surveys in Gilmer, Gladewater and Henderson to determine interest in expanding commuter services to other Kilgore College service areas.
"We hope this is only the beginning," Jenkins said. "We will definitely look into the possibility of expanding the shuttle service into other communities in the future."
Shuttles will run three round-trips per day: one in the morning, one during the lunch hour and one in late afternoon.
The college will pay ETCOG $3,000 per semester for the service with money acquired this year from the state for "rapid enrollment growth." Shuttles are air-conditioned and handicapped accessible.