By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

Students who had trouble reaching two TCC campuses not served by public transportation will get a break starting in the fall semester, when NE and SE Campus will have bus service for the first time.

Starting in August, Trinity Metro, formerly known as The T, will bring bus service to the last two campuses not connected within the transit system.

“Limited access to our NE and SE campuses has long been an issue,” said communications and external affairs vice chancellor Reginald Gates. “The partnership with Trinity Metro set the stage for identifying a solution.”

This solution helps students reach their education goals with the college, he said.

The college has three Fort Worth locations (South, NW and TR), a campus in Hurst/North Richland Hills (NE) and one in Arlington (SE). The Fort Worth locations already have bus service. Hurst, North Richland Hills and Arlington don’t have citywide public transportation. That means travel to those two campuses is primarily done by car, which can be an obstacle for students.

“It’s our hope that more students of Tarrant County will have access to the education training opportunities available at all of our campuses,” Gates said.

With this thought in mind, the college and the Fort Worth Transit Authority partnered a year ago to help students gain access to the two campuses. So far, the college is the first for the FWTA.

“We view this agreement as a model for future ones,” Trinity Metro communications director Laura Hanna said.

Starting in May, TCC students can ride any Trinity Metro bus route for free with their student ID.

There will be no stops for either bus line, Hanna said. NE’s bus will connect at the Trinity Railway Express Richland Hills Station, and the other will go between South and SE.

NE student Dawson Simmonds said he could see the benefit for students attending multiple campuses.

“If you have to go from one campus to the other, this would make it super easy to go between them,” he said.

Students wouldn’t have to stress over having all their classes on a single campus or they could take a class only offered on one campus, he said. Gates agreed.

“Students who meet the EasyRide eligibility requirements will be able to ride all Trinity Metro routes free,” Gates said.

Through this program, TCC will cover the cost of using the bus lines, Gates said. At a minimum, students must take three credit hours or 48 contact hours to qualify for the EasyRide program.

Simmonds said it’s a good idea because of the money one can save on gas.

To use student IDs on buses, students must go to the copy center on their campus and have it activated. Any IDs issued after May 15 will automatically be activated for use on Trinity Metro buses.