On Monday, April 22, Collin County Commissioners Court named TAPS Public Transit as its designated provider of public transportation to the county’s rural (unurbanized) communities. The unanimous vote came after several months of discussions about how to replace its existing CCART (Collin County Area Regional Transit) which has been in decline.
TAPS will begin service to Collin County on July 1, said TAPS CEO Brad Underwood. “This is an exciting time for our agency. With the addition of Collin County to our service area we will be able to provide affordable public transportation from as far north as Bryan County, Oklahoma, south to Plano, Texas.” TAPS now serves six north Texas counties —Collin County will be its seventh— and is the first regional transportation agency to shuttle people across state borders on its Red River Route launched last fall.
TAPS becomes the designee to receive federal, state and local funds to build and operate a new segment of its system in Collin County that connects communities from Celina to Farmersville.
The City of McKinney is also considering naming TAPS to operate city routes. A decision on the selection of TAPS is expected on May 7, when the city council gathers for their next regular meeting. Brad Underwood said there have been ongoing talks with McKinney city leaders about TAPS effectively replacing the existing CCART service.
Underwood said a Collin County Technical Advisory Committee will be created. “TAPS has always been a very responsive organization. We rely on our advisory groups to guide us as we grow the system, keeping the interests of their constituents’ top of mind.” Representatives of Anna, Blue Ridge, Weston, Nevada, Josephine and Farmersville to name just a few, will have seats on the committee.Collin County will also be represented with two newly-created seats on the TAPS Board of Directors. Commissioner Chris Hill will fill one of the seats the other will be taken by a representative from McKinney. If the City of McKinney chooses TAPS to run its municipal transportation, an additional seat on the TAPS Board would be added, giving McKinney two representatives.
Underwood said adding Collin County to the TAPS service area will do nothing but strengthen the public transit agency for all of its stakeholders. “There is a scale of economy when you expand an agency’s operational area. Our management and operations structure is in place and ready to roll. Our proven experience in getting people from her, to there, and back is nothing but positive when it comes to adding routes to our existing system. It allows us to get up to speed very quickly,” said Underwood.
A special section of the TAPS website (www.TAPSbus.com) will be dedicated to keeping the public and partners informed with weekly updates to answer questions about the process of bringing the Collin County rural routes online.
For more information about TAPS Public Transit, visit online at TAPSbus.com or contact a TAPS Rider Service Representative at (800) 256-0911 Monday through Friday, 4:00am-11:30pm, and on Saturday 7:30am to 1:30pm.