UTMB commuters will have a new transit choice starting April 30 with the introduction of Island Connect, the first park-and-ride service between Galveston and the Clear Lake-League City area.
Passengers get to ride for free until May 29 so they can try the new service. The fare on May 29 will be $3 each way, with discounts available to UTMB employees.
UTMB employees may buy books of tickets at a 50 percent discount. Booklets will be sold at the UTMB Bookstore in the Moody Medical Library, 914 Market St., starting in May.
Four Island Connect transit buses will make the 27-mile trip on the Gulf Freeway during morning and evening commute hours. A one-way trip takes about an hour. A schedule is available at:
The 35-seat buses have digital TVs and Wi-Fi access. Two buses will feature exterior designs depicting “Old Red,” the historic Ashbel Smith Building.
Park-and-ride centers will be at:
- UTMB’s Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, 2240 Gulf Freeway, which has a new parking lot dedicated for park-and-ride users.
- UTMB’s Galveston campus, where riders may park for free in the campus parking lot at 4th Street and Seawall Boulevard. Shuttles will take riders to and from the bus stop, which is at 8th and Market streets.
The buses will stop at seven other locations:
- Clear Lake Center, 20740 Gulf Freeway at NASA Parkway
- UTMB’s Multispecialty Center and Stark Diabetes Clinic at Victory Lakes Town Center, 2660 Gulf Freeway
- ANICO, 20th and Market streets, Galveston
- 25th and Strand streets, Galveston
- Island Community Center, 47th Street and Broadway, Galveston
- City Hall, 823 Rosenberg St., Galveston
- 53rd Street and Broadway, Galveston
UTMB is underwriting the park-and-ride operation as a service to its employees. Most of its 11,000 employees work in Galveston or the League City area so the service is expected to reduce commuter expenses and traffic congestion.
$1 Fare ahead for UTMB riders on Texas City Park-and-Ride
UTMB passengers who use park-and-ride service between Galveston and Mall of the Mainland in Texas City will be charged a fare, effective May 29.
Passengers with UTMB identification have been able to ride for free under a temporary arrangement put into place to help employees who relocated due to Hurricane Ike in 2008.
The park-and-ride fare is $2 each way, however, UTMB riders will be able to buy ride coupons at a 50 percent discount, for an effective fare of $1 each way.
Booklets of ride coupons will be sold at the UTMB Bookstore in the Moody Medical Library, 914 Market St., starting in May.
The service will operate on weekdays only, and make eight scheduled round-trips a day during peak commute hours in the morning and evening.
Island Connect is a joint operation between two transit services: the Gulf Coast Center’s Connect Transit and the City of Galveston’s Island Transit.
Island Transit has an inter-local agreement with Connect Transit to provide the buses and drivers. Island Transit is the public transportation provider for Galveston Island. Connect Transit is the public transportation provider for Galveston and Brazoria counties.
The service will be underwritten by fares and local, state and federal contributions that total about $5 million. Local support is provided by UTMB and the City of League City. The largest contribution comes from the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality transit pilot program underwritten by the Federal Transit Administration and Texas Department of Transportation.