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      Amarillo bus routes change to accomodate more riders

      All eight of Amarillo public bus routes have changed as of Thursday.

      Officials say they did it to keep up with the national trend of public transportation that increases with gas prices.

      Riders say it may take some getting used to, but in many cases, it's their only means of getting around.

      Almost 370,000 people took a one way bus ride last year in the city of Amarillo and with that many people riding there were sure to be some areas that weren't being serviced and all the routes have been changed somewhat, according to Fixed Route Supervisor, Brett Lawler with the City of Amarillo Tranist Authority.

      "We didn't get rid of any routes, we kept them all we didn't add any, we modified some of them," Lawler said. "It's been increasingly more difficult for us to be able to run on timeso we felt it was a good time to look at timing so we can run our system efficiently with an ETA our passengers can rely on."

      All the riders we spoke with today say they really appreciate being able to take a city bus to their destination, and hope the changes won't cause too much confusion.

      "I don't know, a lot of changes...sometimes they're late and sometimes the buses break down," said Jimmy Lee Ktner.

      Tenecia Mix said having the reliability of the bus has been a must for her for the last seven years.

      "It's going to help me, be cause I live on Amarillo Boulevard and will help me," she said. "(It's) closer to my stop. It's going to be more easier and irt will take a while to get used to it."

      After a long study to determine riders' needs, that's exactly the kind of thing the City is wanting to hear.

      "Modified routes will increase the ridership a great deal but there's the possibility that weather is getting better and it brings out riders as well, so Spring and Summer might account for some of the increases."