If you live in Collin County, expect to soon see the familiar blue, green and white TAPS Public Transit buses on your highways and byways. Effective July 1, the Grayson County-based public transportation provider will be managing and operating rural transit for Collin County and urban service for the City of McKinney.

In addition, Collin County Commissioner Chris Hill announced that TAPS will launch McKinney Park & Ride service from to DART's Parker Road Station beginning July 1.

From Hill's "The County Line" newsletter: "TAPS has a history of coordinating with DART for Grayson County passengers, and I am excited that they will bring that experience to McKinney this summer. We have already begun the important work of coordinating with DART, and I hope to be able to announce the McKinney Park & Ride location very soon!"

On May 8, the TAPS Board of Directors accepted an offer from both Collin County and the City of McKinney to bring the TAPS brand of service to their citizens. The vote was unanimous by the 12-member board made up of representatives from the agency’s currently six-member counties. Jay Davidson, TAPS Board Chairman, said that while the task of expanding service to Collin County is a daunting one, he has complete confidence that TAPS management and staff can pull it off.

“TAPS is a public transportation agency that has an operational style that allows for scalability in how it serves its riders,” said Davidson, “the policies and procedures in place that have evolved TAPS into one of the most respected public transit systems in Texas, will be a good foundation for getting the Collin County serve up to speed quickly.”

Express and Airport Service Will be First

TAPS already crosses the Collin County line moving workers to their jobs in McKinney and to connections at the DART station at Parker Road in Plano. The TexExpress shuttle takes passengers from as far north as Durant, Okla., stopping in Sherman and Van Alstyne, Texas, before traveling to Raytheon in McKinney and on to Plano. The TexExpress has been operating since 2006.

The TexExpress already runs at capacity, so additional buses will be added to the fixed schedules that run passengers to and from DART beginning at 5:30 a.m. from the Midway Mall Park & Ride terminal in Sherman.

Last year, TAPS began a limited airport shuttle service from Durant, Okla. and Sherman, Texas. It has been a huge success by offering dependable, low-cost service to and from DFW Airport and Love Field in Dallas. Recently re-branded as The Airport Hop, the service will be expanded into McKinney as soon as agreements have been put in place to provide parking for customers.

The McKinney City Council voted to approve TAPS as the McKinney UZA Direct Recipient and the Urban Transit District. The vote was 6-0 with one abstention. Bobby Amick of the MISD Board and Anne Polk from TxDOT spoke at the meeting to answer questions from the Council. Click here to view the video.