BELTON, Texas — Bell County announced a partnership with Hill Country Transit District, also known as The HOP, to provide feeder routes to allow greater access to the county’s three COVID-19 vaccination centers. The new routes will be in place Wednesday morning. The HOP Director of Urban Operations Darrell Burtner said in a press release it was a step in the right direction.
“It feels good to help Bell County health officials go on the offensive against this virus,” Burtner said.
A link to see all the bus routes and the instructions on how to get to a Bell County vaccine center can be found here. On Tuesday, Burtner told 6 News the new routs were not on the website's fixed route maps because they were not considered permeant.
That might leave new users a little confused on how to use The HOP's current routes to get to the "feeder routs" which go to and from the vaccine centers. 6 News spoke with Bell County Tuesday about the best options for new users.
Patron's will need to use The HOP's current routs to get to the specific bus stops, or feeder locations, that are shuttling people back and forth between the stop and the vaccine center.
An easy way to do this is to use the Google Trip Planner function on The HOP's website. Users should type in their address and the address of the nearest feeder location (locations listed below). Once the Google Maps window comes up, click on the bus icon in the top left part of the screen, just above the listed addresses. Google should then display the closest bus routs to take.
In Temple, the only feeder location is the Temple Transfer Station located next to City Hall at 2 N Main St, Temple, Texas 76501. The HOP will take pick up passengers at thirty minutes past every hour from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and take them to the Sammon's Community Center vaccine site.
In Killeen, there are two feeder locations. One is at the Baylor Scott & White Clinic located at 3801 Scott and White Dr, Killeen, Texas 76543. The other is the Killeen Transfer Station located at 300 North 4th St, Killeen Texas. The feeder route will pick up passengers from the Killeen Transfer Station at the top of every hour from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and take them to the Killeen Community Center. Passengers may board the Feeder Route at the Scott and White Killeen Clinic at 0:35 after every hour.
In most cases, riders will be required to request a transfer ticket from their driver and disembark at either the Temple or Killeen Transfer Station. Those riders who are going to get their second dose of the vaccine will need to request a transfer ticket and get off of Route 610 at Bell County Expo Center.
After riders receive their second dose, they will return to the bus stop outside the Expo and present their transfer ticket to board buses back to Killeen or Temple.
For passengers who qualify for ADA service, HCTD offers a paratransit service that allows eligible riders to schedule rides to take them directly to the vaccination centers. Eligible paratransit passengers are asked to call The HOP at 254-933-3700.
“We very much appreciate the Hill Country Transit District’s efforts to make COVID-19 vaccination more accessible to the residents of Bell County,” Bell County Judge David Blackburn said.
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