Construction of a $1.5 million structure to house county transit buses is underway on Farm Road 1442.  

The buses primarily serve senior citizens but are available to all residents of Orange County.

The new office will consolidate the existing Vidor and Orange transportation offices, freeing up those spaces for other needs.

Another benefit of a central location is that the facility will be near the emergency operations and multipurpose center now proposed by commissioners (see separate story this issue). If a temporary shelter is set-up there, the buses will not be housed on opposite ends of the county.

 “This is a project that’s been on the books for quite some time,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose. 

“The [Southeast Texas] Regional Planning Commission gave us a little bit of money, and [the county was] able to match that, so we relooked at the project, cut some things out and trimmed it down.”
Dubose might have some pull with the RPC, having been president a few years back.

The facility will include a mechanics’ shop with service lifts, a fueling facility for both diesel and propane vehicles, a shop for regular maintenance on tires, oil and brake pads; and a power generator in case of emergencies. 

“This is not going to be a public facility, just where the buses will be dispatched from,” Dubose said. 

“It just makes an awful lot of sense … it’s designed to where buses can pull in, and fuel up and park for the night … they can then pull out the next morning going out another door. In other words, it’s a duel-door system. We’ve found that more accidents occur when the buses are backing up, so we’ve eliminated as much of that as possible.”

The Orangefield Water Supply Corp. will provide water lines, which should be completed by August.

“Things are moving fast,” Dubose said.

Dirt for the foundation will be trucked from another county project – a detention pond being dug by the drainage department. Detention ponds help with flood control issues. They temporarily hold a set amount of water while slowly draining to another location.