Every day, Roswell Transit is on the go, connecting people to places by providing safe, affordable and convenient public transportation for citizens needing to get to medical facilities, shopping centers, recreation sites or a wide variety of other destinations in Roswell.
The transit-service vehicles make their way up and down Main Street seven days a week while “side routes” reaching other streets are serviced Monday through Friday when passengers call in to schedule a ride. In addition, Roswell Transit also provides door-to-door paratransit service for qualified individuals who are unable, because of physical handicap or other reasons, to use the regular services.
Roswell Transit continues to meet the needs of its riders even as it also seeks to meet the challenges of maintaining a sufficient number of vehicle operators, the drivers who get people where they want to go. Transit drivers must have a commercial driver’s license with a specific endorsement allowing them to drive large vehicles that carry passengers. They must also have knowledge of city streets and transit routes, traffic regulations, signs and signals, and safety rules and regulations. The training regimen all drivers must complete is designed to ensure they are ready to connect people to places in the safest manner possible.
Roswell Transit driver Patricia Hernes is one of the bus drivers who get people where they want to go in the city.
Those people behind the steering wheel of each Roswell Transit vehicle are literally what drives this city service.
“As with any successful, customer service-oriented organization, Roswell Transit’s most important employees are those who work on the front line,” says Roswell Transit representative Scott Furciniti. “Transporting passengers to their destinations safely and with courtesy are the hallmark of this department’s vehicle operators.”
Meanwhile, the operation supervisors make sure the vehicle operators follow proper protocols and stick to schedules, and keep an eye on any maintenance issues that may arise.
Roswell Transit also has an administrative staff that consists of a director, a transit manager, and an administrative assistant. The director charts the course for Roswell Transit to provide the best possible service for its passengers while working within the city’s guidelines. The transit manager oversees the department’s personnel, ensuring all vehicle operators receive proper training and maintain a high level of customer service. The administrative assistant, in addition to selling bus passes, tokens and paratransit (a service for passengers with special transportation needs and limitations) tickets, serves as Roswell Transit’s budgetary liaison to the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
In addition to serving the public every day with local transportation, Roswell Transit can also be called on in times of emergency to provide evacuations from potentially dangerous situations. Roswell Transit has also been used for the transportation of city officials and guests to tour areas of interest and view projects in progress throughout Roswell.
Although Greyhound Bus Lines still has buses stop in front of Roswell Transit’s terminal at 515 N. Main St. for boarding and deboarding of passengers, Roswell Transit is not affiliated with Greyhound. For a short period, Greyhound contracted with the City of Roswell to have Roswell Transit staff sell Greyhound passenger tickets, check baggage, and handle shipping and receiving of packages for Greyhound. However, the pandemic impacted Greyhound’s business, leading to the termination of that contract. Still, though, Roswell Transit regularly receives and redirects inquiries from the public – both by phone and at the terminal – regarding the purchase of Greyhound tickets.
The pandemic that led to the end of the Greyhound contract also resulted in some limitations on Roswell Transit’s level of service, reducing the variety of routes the buses run. It also triggered a reduction in the number of riders using the bus service, although it remains in demand with an average of almost 4,000 passengers climbing aboard the buses each month. Meanwhile, future operation plans are being developed as Roswell Transit aims to strengthen how it serves its riders.