ALAMO, Texas – Public transportation emerged as one of the top issues of concern to colonia residents at a recent Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force meeting.

The meeting was held in south Alamo to hear from colonia residents. Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez set up the task force to address the county’s high level of poverty.

Dozens of colonia residents sat around tables to discuss the issues they care most about. There was a table each for healthcare, jobs, education, housing, immigration, and transportation. When it was time to make recommendations, transportation topped the list.

“Transportation is one of the big issues. We don’t have public transportation in the colonias. But, our families need transportation to move from one place to another. To go to the doctor’s, to go to the pharmacy,” said Ramona Casas, social justice coordinator for ARISE, in an interview with reporters.

Casas said students living in colonias in Hidalgo County need public transportation to get to UT-Rio Grande Valley or South Texas College.

“We have Valley Metro and we know that they’re moving into the main streets, in the cities. But no. We need this public transportation moving to our communities, that rural communities, that are far away from downtown.”

Casas said even if the Legislature could fund Valley Metro for a bus service one day a week in and out of the largest colonias it would be a help.

Here is a video recording of the interview with ARISE’s Casas at the Prosperity Task Force event:


Editor’s Note: The above video news story is the fifth in a six-part series on the town hall meeting Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez and the Prosperity Task Force held in south Alamo. Part One focuses on the wrap-up remarks of colonia residents. Click to here to watch it. Part Two focuses on an interview with Judge Cortez. Click here to watch it. Part Three focuses on an interview with Hidalgo County Commissioner Eddie Cantu. Click here to watch it. Part Four focuses on an interview with La Unión del Pueblo’s Danny Diaz. Click here to watch it.

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