VIDEORide along with bus passengers seeking care

In Need of Dialysis, but Stuck in Oilfield Traffic

Medical centers in rural South Texas have always been few and far between, and getting care is especially difficult for those who can’t drive.

Since 1981, the Southwest Area Regional Transit District, a program funded through state grants, has provided a lifeline for people with disabilities. It typically serves 65 to 70 riders within its eight-county service area and tries to accommodate people who call from outside the area.

The district’s 50-bus fleet travels more than 1.35 million miles each year.

Monday through Saturday, the district runs special routes for those who need dialysis three times a week — many of whom are elderly and depend on government assistance. With dialysis centers often filled to capacity in Pearsall, Uvalde and Carrizo Springs, people living in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale are increasingly requesting rides to appointments farther away in San Antonio and Laredo.

Dimmit and Zavala Counties

Dimmit and Zavala by the Numbers

Dimmit County
2000 2010 2013
Population 10,248 10,032 10,897
Oil production (barrels) 614,000 1.6M 25.8M
Natural gas production (cubic feet) 828.4M 11.6B 152.9B
Zavala County
2000 2010 2013
Population 11,600 11,727 12,156
Oil production (barrels) 490,335 432,191 5M
Natural gas production (cubic feet) 2.1B 688.3M 477.3M
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Texas Railroad Commission