New terminal, buses might be rolling into downtown Monroe

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Monroe buses are a transportation lifeline for many who live in the area. However, some riders said it's time to shift gears with a new station.

"It's very important to me to get to where I need to go," said Ricky Singleton, a regular rider.

General Manager Marc Keenan said the city is inching closer to a $5 million multimodal facility that includes several transportation hubs.

"We have right at $1 million of grant that we already have set aside for that function. We should be getting more money for that at some point this year," Keenan said.

He'll first need an architect to get on board. Keenan said the city applied for federal grants that will pick up 80 percent of the tab. Now that Greyhound Lines is downtown, the city can get more funding.

"It will be approved, but they are going through the process of approving it right now," Keenan said.

Riders said this is good news, but they would like to see other improvements like new buses.

"As far as buses are concerned, we're great. We won't need anymore buses until 2020. At that point, we will have to replace six of our buses," Keenan said.

City council approved an intelligent transportation system Tuesday night. The software provides bus tracking and intercoms at stops for those who are hearing impaired. Plus, it helps plan routes by counting the number of passengers at each stop.

It's expected to be here as early as May.