TAPS “Nerd Herd” Keeps Things Connected

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They are affectionately known as the “nerd herd” at TAPS Public Transit. The IT Department is responsible for just about everything that plugs in, in the modern day office.

On an ordinary day there are dozens of projects to keep the IT team busy. Add to that workload the recent move from TAPS’s location of 20 years to a new facility, and you have  the makings of some very long weeks.

Mike Holmes, manager, TAPS IT Department.
Mike Holmes, manager, TAPS IT Department.

Mike Holmes has recently been promoted from IT technician to manager of the entire department. An experienced tech, Holmes is finding new challenges with the complex and diverse needs of a fast growing transportation agency.

“A typical day is filled with repairs, installations, upgrades, and all manner of maintenance issues,” said Holmes. “Staying ahead of the evolving projects keeps things running. Most of the time.” At TAPS the entire communications platform from simple email, to enterprise level telephone systems, computers and peripherals depends on Holmes’s nerd herd to be at the top of its game.

Josh Walker, Director of Safety, Security and IT at TAPS Public Transit oversees all of the IT department’s operations and daily activities. “The past four months have been extraordinarily challenging,” said Walker. “Moving a facility as large as TAPS is one thing, it’s an entirely different experience when you move into a building that needs a complete retrofit for our specialized operations.”

Even on the typical bus —where the rubber meets the road— there is a host of electronics at work. Consider Wi-Fi connections, security cameras, driver communications and routing devices. All are sophisticated pieces of equipment that need to be installed, maintained, and upgraded.

By the end of February, most of the projects related to the movie will have been accomplished. Then, it’s back to the day-to-day business of keeping everything working. Oh, and planning for the next big move in two years. TAPS expects to begin construction on the North Texas Regional Transportation Center, a three-story building sited where the old TAPS stood for two decades.