The TAPS Public Transit board of directors meeting in regular session on Friday, approved a motion to make extensive immediate cuts to service as a part of an ongoing cost-cutting plan. The biggest impact will be to fixed route service in McKinney and the Sherman-Denison area.
Effective at the close of business on Friday (11/13), fixed route service ended in the cities of McKinney, Sherman, and Denison.
The routes that will no longer run include all 7 routes in McKinney, all 4 routes in Sherman-Denison, the Red River Route between Texas and Oklahoma, and the Tex-Express service between Grayson County and DART’s Parker Road Station in Plano.
According to Tim Patton, TAPS interim CEO and Executive Director, the board’s decision was a difficult one to make, but one that is required if the public transportation agency is to survive at all. “The reality is that we have no choice but to make cuts to our service if we want to be able to deliver any level of service in the future,” said Patton.
Patton said his biggest concern is that the public gets notified as soon as possible that most buses will not run beginning Monday. The TAPSbus.com website already shows that all affected routes are “out of service,” until further notice. TAPS said it cannot speculate as to when regular service will return.
BUS SERVICE WILL CONTINUE ON SOME ROUTES
While the majority of TAPS fixed route service is now offline, local fixed route and express service in Allen will continue as scheduled, as will a single express route between McKinney and DART’s Parker Road Station in Plano.
DEMAND RESPONSE, CURB-TO-CURB, RIDES WILL BE DRAMATICALLY REDUCED
The most-costly service that TAPS provides is its demand response, Get-a-Ride, curb-to-curb trips. Over the past few weeks, TAPS has already dramatically reduced the number of trips it performs and even deeper cuts to service will be made.
Friday’s decision by the TAPS board of directors means that starting Monday (11/16), the number of rides provided on the demand response system will be limited to trips that are “medical related,” such as to keep a dialysis, doctor or dentist appointment.
TAPS expects to announce planned service levels for the demand response service sometime early next week, perhaps as soon as Monday. Riders with confirmed appointments already in the system will be contacted individually over the next 72 hours.