On April 18, 2016 the Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) will resume operating transit service for the first time since suspending service in January as a result of significant financial troubles. Scott McClellan, General Manager for Transdev, the firm now running TAPS stated he is looking forward to Monday. Getting TAPS service running again has been a priority for us. We are happy to be bringing employees back to work and providing transportation for our customers.
Those interested in using the TAPS On Demand services can call toll free 844-603-6048 starting April 13, 2016 to place trip request beginning April 18, 2016. Service will be offered in Grayson, Fannin, Cooke, Wise, Clay and Montague counties Monday through Friday from 6AM until 6PM.
The rebuilding process with TAPS will be careful and deliberate to ensure that the service is brought back in a successful and sustainable way. McClellan explains that initial service levels will be similar to what had been provided during the last few months, but not near the levels that TAPS had been running a year ago. McClellan stated that service would have to be gradually restored, because it is imperative that every decision makes sound financial sense.
Trandev has been working on sorting out many of the financial issues that confronted the TAPS organization and caused it to discontinue service. McClellan stated that TAPS has relied on grant funding from both the Federal Transit Administration and Texas Department of Transportation. That funding was frozen and Trandev has been working with the Board of Director to put TAPS financial “house in order” and regaining the confidence of the agency’s funding partners.
Since the January 2016 shutdown, several local agencies have stepped in to provide essential on-demand transit service while the TAPS Board of Directors developed long-term reorganization plans. The Board solicited proposals from nationally known transit management firms for a Public Private Operating Partnership (PPOP) in a formal competitive bidding process. On March 7, 2016 the Board awarded a contract to Transdev who has successfully implemented the PPOP model in other transit systems in the United States, including New Orleans, LA and Long Island, NY and dozens of contracts in other countries in Europe.