U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (TX-D) conducted a mobile town hall meeting via two popular Sun Metro routes on February 7, 2014, in an effort to meet with constituents who might not otherwise be able to attend regular monthly meetings.
At Sun Metro’s most populated Downtown Transfer Center, O’Rourke boarded Route 42 to Northeast El Paso.
Once on the bus, O’Rourke gave a short introduction to the full load of passengers then opened the floor to questions. Passengers ask questions concerning drug laws, water conservation, healthcare, military funding and more. Upon arrival at the Northgate Transit Terminal, O’Rourke met with constituents who were curious for answers regarding legal policy and veteran affairs.
The Congressman along with Sun Metro staff also spoke with constituents about the upcoming state-of-the-art transfer center that will be part of a new transit-oriented development (TOD). The future 30-acre TOD, which was recently awarded a $10.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, will feature a modern, 7-acre transportation hub with a variety of passenger amenities. The transfer center will serve the 23-acre TOD that will transform a once defunct shopping center into a vibrant, walkable community with retail spaces, varying housing options and park space.
O’Rourke boarded Route 35 at the Northeast Terminal to travel back to the Downtown Transfer Center. The route started half full but as it made more stops, quickly filled up to standing room only. During this route the Congressman was able to talk to passengers on a one-on-one basis to answer their personal concerns.
This is the second mobile town hall Sun Metro has hosted in conjunction with Congressman O’Rourke. In October 2013, O’Rourke met with constituents in East El Paso’s where he rode Sun Metro’s most popular Route 59. He spoke with passengers as a group and individually answering questions on various national topics.
The event’s popularity and success has opened a new avenue for the Congressman to meet with constituents and helps shine a spotlight on the importance of public transit. Sun Metro looks forward to hosting more mobile town hall in the near future.