Since Temple began their HOP bus service in August of 2002, ridership levels have continually exceeded expectations. Across the county in Killeen, riders say the service couldn't be better.
"Ten being the best, I would go for a ten," said rider Carmella Miller.
Carmella and her friend Kamicka Miller use Killeen's bus service on a daily basis, however a few upcoming changes could affect their commute.
Robert Ator is Director of Urban Operations for the HOP system, and says because of budget concerns, Killeen's HOP service is reorganizing schedules and routes to better serve it's ridership. The HOP's routes 40 and 200 will be consolidated into one route that will serve eastern Killeen, Harker Heights, and Nolanville. The route serving Fort Hood is being eliminated due to low ridership. The HOP is also adding 7 holidays to it's calander increasing days without service from 6 to 13.
However, the most noticable changes will involve the service's hours and days of operations.
"We are going to reduce our service hours on our routes 1-8 by cutting back just one hour in the evening, we will end service at 6, but in exchange for that we will run those routes 1-8 from 10 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon on Saturdays," said Ator.
Although Saturday service is a gamble, Ator says it has seen phenomenal success in Temple, and riders in Killeen have been asking for the service for years.
The changes are set to begin on January 1st, but because service will not run on New Year's Day, the changes will begin on January 2nd.