Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

September 19, 2012

New bus line links Athens and Tyler

Pastor, transportation expert combine to move people to out-of-town jobs

Athens — A pastor’s vision, and a woman’s knowledge of transportation, have combined to launch a bus line between Athens and Tyler.

Alan Coleman, pastor of Gates Community Church, said the idea behind the Chariot Bus Lines is to get people from Athens to the areas of Tyler where the jobs are.

Coleman said he was tired of seeing the young men in the church move away to Dallas or Tyler, because they couldn’t find a job in their hometown.

Coleman’s father was in the bus business for about 50 years, but Alan wanted no part of the industry.

That background in buses, however,  came to his mind when he tried to think of a way to get the young people in his community to Tyler.

He took his ideas to the church, and eventually got the go-ahead to purchase three buses. It was a step of faith for the church to buy three buses at a cost of about $100,000.          

“They trust God, and they trust me, and they believe in the people they’re trying to help,” Coleman.

Coleman said a key piece of the puzzle fell into place when John Hedrick, East Texas Council of Governments Director of Transportation, invited Coleman to a steering committee meeting.

There he saw a vocal woman, who he later learned was Helen Thornton of Athens, vice chairman of the East Texas Transportation Steering Committee.

Thornton has held the position since she was appointed by Henderson County Judge David Holstein about six years ago.

“That was a blessing, because when I met Helen over the phone, she was wise enough in her background that she was able to put these pieces together.”

How did the idea become a reality in just two months?

“It’s a miracle,” Coleman and Thornton both exclaimed.

Coleman brings the business knowledge to the table, Thornton said, while she knows how to maneuver through the maze of state regulations.

“The two come together for a very nice fit,” Thornton said. “The church has the buses. Alan has the degree in business,  and I have the knowledge of rules and regulations, knowing what you can and can’t do.”

Coleman said he’s been getting up pretty early in the morning to be on-hand for the first bus to pull away from its Athens home to the Tyler destination.

There’ll be two trips each day, all from Athens Central Transfer in the parking lot at 505 S. Palestine St. near Save A Lot and Ken’s Pizza to Tyler Central Transfer, with regular stops in Brownsboro and Chandler along the way.

Each run will make stops in Murchison, Brownsboro, Chandler, and if anyone requests it, Tyler Pounds Field Airport.

In the afternoon the process will reverse, with the buses taking the same route from Tyler to Athens.

The first run was Monday morning, followed by a ribbon cutting with the Athens Chamber of Commerce. The biggest challenge now is getting regular riders to help sustain the line.

A round trip is $20, but a series of 10 trips will cost $35. Coleman says that’s a lot less expensive than driving your own car to work every day of the week. You can call Chariot Bus Lines at 877-776-4335 for times and schedules.

Text Only
Local News
  • DSC_0018.JPG Volunteers now needed for Athens Soup Kitchen

    Athens resident Terry Mayhall walked through the doors of the Athens Soup Kitchen asking if he could just volunteer. Mayhall now spends his Thursdays cooking soup for people who are hungry.
    Athens Soup Kitchen, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is to feed those who are hungry. The facility that feeds 30 to 63 people weekly, opened its door in March 2014.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-26 Mike chamber.png Coston named chamber president

    After a diligent search, the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board has named Mike Coston president. 
    “The chamber board selected a search committee, which consisted of Chamber members, community leaders and business owners,” Ashley Adams McKee, Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board, said. “Our committee knew that we wanted to take our time to find the most qualified person to serve as our new president. We had more than 10 applicants and in our first round of interviews we were all equally impressed and excited about Mike's experience and passion for chamber business.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Update on restaurant projects given

    City of Athens officials gave an update on some ongoing projects and financial information at a meeting on Wednesday.
    Director of Planning and Development Gary Crecilius said progress on the Cotton Patch Cafe has slowed considerably with the discovery of a possible environmental hazard. The restaurant is being constructed east of the Walmart store on East Tyler Street.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_3092.JPG HCPAC announces ‘Mattress’ sales

    Why would HCPAC be selling mattresses? Actually, the “mattresses” are tickets to “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens Thursday, Aug. 7.
    The 26th Annual Youth Summer Musical stars 24 very talented area students, ages 10 through college, and tells the “fractured fairy tale” version of the “Princess and the Pea.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-26 CCL Rotary Celebrity waiter.jpg Gearing up for Celebrity Waiter event

    The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is gearing up for its annual Celebrity Waiter event. The Celebrity Waiter committee met on Thursday to discuss last minute items. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at Athens Country Club. This will be the 18th year the CCL Rotary Club has hosted the fundraiser. For ticket information call Erin Osborn at 903-887-7486.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul harris.jpg Paul Harris recognition

    Rotary of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn presents Rotarian Bill Burnett with his second Paul Harris recognition. Rotarians are given a Paul Harris recognition when a Rotarian donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-25 Sanders_Kendall.jpg Sanders suspended indefinitely

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 tree down college st. 1.JPG Thunderstorms take their toll on counties

    A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
    The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Council considering Burton's severance package

    The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Eustace ISD approves tax rates

    The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
    Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
    The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo