At 6 a.m. on Monday morning, July 1, TAPS Public Transit picked up its first passengers on the Blue Route and Red Route initiating intercity bus service for the City of McKinney. Meanwhile, at the transit agency’s newly opened park and ride lot on Gateway Blvd. near U.S. Hwy 75 and Texas State Hwy 121, a signature blue and green bus pulled out, headed for the DART station on Parker Road in Plano. For many Collin County residents, TAPS provides a vital connection to work, school and community activities.
The event was marked by a low-key ceremony just after 7 a.m., at the Gateway Blvd. Park and Ride, as about a dozen county and city officials and TAPS Public Transit executives gathered to take a test ride on a the “Parker Road Express,” the express shuttle service from McKinney to DART in Plano.
Brad Underwood, TAPS CEO and Executive Director, told the group that the day marks three important events in public transportation for North Texas.
“Today, we’re launching on-demand, curb-to-curb service for the disadvantaged, elderly and disabled citizens who have a right to dependable, affordable, transportation,” said Underwood. “For the City of McKinney, TAPS is beginning a new era of improved intercity public transportation for a growing community, and finally, our agency is connecting southern Oklahoma with the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on a unified system.”
The 102-car parking area is located at 1870 Gateway Blvd., adjacent to the Collin College Higher Education Center just off Medical Center Drive.
“Our goal was to find a parking lot that is centrally located and close to the major highways that connect McKinney with north and south routes,” said Chief Operating Officer, Tim Patton. The park and ride lot is one of thirteen stops on Route 300 (Red Route).
“The Gateway Blvd. stop to Route 300 allows anyone riding a TAPS bus to connect to DART, or get to the airport,” said Patton. “Passengers will be able to catch a bus at the new park and ride for either the Parker Road Express – from McKinney to DART’s Parker Road Station – or catch The Airport Hop, a shuttle that goes to DFW Airport in Grapevine and to Love Field in Dallas."
TAPS will issue a parking permit to all riders who use the lot.
After several months of negotiations, TAPS Public Transit, headquartered in Sherman, entered into agreements with Collin County and McKinney to take over service from C-CART (Collin County Area Regional Transit) after the agency declined in service and became financially unviable.
TAPS Public Transit is a community-led, multi-modal, customer-centric transportation agency serving a seven county area that includes Clay, Collin, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Montague and Wise counties in the North Texas region.
Because TAPS is partially subsidized by federal and state transportation funds, rates are below market value and extremely affordable. A roundtrip ride on a TAPS bus within the rider’s county of residence can cost as little as $2.
For more information about TAPS Public Transit visit the website at TAPSbus.com.
TAPS (Texoma Area Paratransit System) Public Transit is a private, non-profit corporation. Serving Collin, Fannin, Grayson, Cooke, Wise, Clay and Montague Counties, it was created to provide safe, dependable and affordable transportation for persons who depend on public transportation, or who desire to avoid the ever rising cost of fuel and the increasing stress of driving in extreme traffic conditions. TAPS is open to the entire public and serves individuals of all ages and income groups, and it is equipped to fully service the elderly and disabled. Visit tapsbus.com.