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Nearest bus stop dangerous trek for neighbors in far East El Paso

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Jan 07 2013 11:17:09 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 09:29:40 PM CST

Hundreds of El Pasoans have to walk a dangerous stretch of road to catch a bus.

El Paso, Texas -

ABC-7 has covered traffic and pedestrian fatalities off of Zaragosa Rd., yet people still walk alongside a long stretch of road not intended for foot traffic. As it turns out, some of those people don't have a choice.

They're walking to catch a ride at the nearest bus stop they can find. For many more than a mile from where they live.

El Paso's far east side seems to be growing by the minute.

Mixed among the tumbleweeds, signs of growth. New mini malls, restaurants and high schools but what you won't find are buses.

In a neighborhood off of Zaragosa, between Pebble Hills and Edgemere, the nearest bus stop is more than a mile away.

"Holy cow, that's a long walk for anybody that lives here," said Tammy Talpas who has lived in that part of town for two years now and she's never seen a bus.

"I think it's a shame," said Talpas.

Ivett Tamayo has been forced to make the long walk to the bus stop in the past.

"From my house to Edgemere, it's about a half an hour," said Tamayo.

"I mean we have an elderly across the street, so if she would need to use the bus I wouldn't want her walking clear down there," said Talpas.

Clear down there usually means a trek on the road because there aren't any sidewalks.

Walkers many times cross a busy intersection with merging roads, carrying speed limits of up to 60 MPH.

"Thats a bad intersection. I'd be afraid for anybody especially if they have kids with them, you know someone could get killed there and that would be terrible," said Talpas.

"It can be tricky for city services like the buses to continually catch up especially when it comes to equipment," said Sun Metro spokeswoman Laura Cruz Acosta. 

Acosta says plans for a temporary park-and-ride are coming. She said a transit center is coming in two years at the earliest.

"It would be nice if they could put a bus stop out here for a bus to come and pick up anybody that needs a ride," said Talpas.

Acosta does tell ABC-7 there is a paratransit system that can pick someone up curbside. It's available for the disabled and the elderly but you have to qualify.

Residents can call Sun Metro at 533-3333 and ask for lift services to find out if you qualify.

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