When TAPS Public Transit launched the Red River Route —the nation’s first interstate public transportation project of its kind— on September 25, 2012, no one could have imagined how successful it would be. The idea was simple: Get people to and from work and school, between Texas and Oklahoma.
Nearly three years later, TAPS Public Transit has expanded the service, adding more stops in the city of Durant, and connecting Southeastern Oklahoma to as far south as Collin County in North Texas..
TAPS buses make a 65-mile loop 12 times a day, beginning at Midway Mall in Sherman, and ending at Walmart Supercenter in Durant. The route runs between 5:00 a.m. and 11:45 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Low fares are a strong incentive to use public transportation. Passengers can board any TAPS Public Transit Red River Route bus for $1. TAPS drivers do not make change or issue transfers. Frequent riders can purchase a $20 monthly pass for maximum savings.
Prepaid fare cards, daily and monthly passes can be purchased safely and securely online at www.TAPSbus.com/shop.
Government and Private Business Partnerships
Sponsored in the beginning primarily with funds from Texas Department of Transportation, the program quickly attracted the support of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Choctaw Nation.
For the university, the challenge was getting students to and from Texas to the Durant, Oklahoma campus. Continuing education programs between Texas and Oklahoma schools encourage those graduating with two-year degrees from Grayson College, to complete a four-year degree while staying local in the region.
Choctaw Resort and Casino’s hotel tower opening meant more workers needed to get to work. The casino’s human resources staff worked with TAPS to build a route and schedule that allows hospitality workers to commute for shift work across the Texas-Oklahoma border. With the major expansion expected to be complete this summer, the number of employees working at the resort will increase significantly.
Another private-public partnership began when Alorica, a national inbound call center operation located in Durant, needed to reach potential employees in the Sherman-Denison area of North Texas. Working side-by-side with TAPS mobility experts, Alorica offered incentives for using public transportation and heavily promoted the Red River Route to its employees. That partnership continues today.
New partners have joined the effort to extend public transportation between states.
New partners have joined the effort to extend public transportation between states. Each with a hope that access to regularly scheduled transit options will benefit workers, students, and the public at large.
Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma expects to see patients make good use of the expanded routes. Schedules offer drop off and pick up throughout the day, and merchants in downtown Durant look forward to easier access for potential customers.
During the 12 months ending December 2014, the Red River Route carried more than 6,544 passengers to work and school. That’s an increase of over 43% from the previous year. By doubling the number of destinations in Bryan County, TAPS officials expect to see passenger numbers grow significantly again in the next 12 months.
The Red River Route carried more than 6,544 passengers last year.
About TAPS Public Transit
The agency began operations in 1986 as a van and station wagon service for the elderly, funded by the Texoma Council of Governments. Over the next 29 years, TAPS became an independent agency providing fixed route, on-demand, and Medicaid transportation services in 17 counties in North Texas and Southeastern Oklahoma.
The Airport Hop shuttle service was launched in 2012 and operates 7 days a week taking passengers to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field in Dallas.
In 2013, TAPS began operations in Collin County. TAPS operates on-demand service for the county and regularly scheduled fixed route service for the City of McKinney and Allen.
In November 2014, TAPS greatly expanded its intercity bus service for McKinney, adding new routes and more than 77 destinations.
TAPS Public Transit is guided by a board of directors, representing cities and counties where the agency operates.