Mayor Brian Loughmiller and City Councilmember Geralyn Kever spoke before the County Commissioners Court on Monday, March 11 to share each other's views regarding the County’s consideration to change the designated transit provider for the rural area of the County. A motion was brought before the court by Commissioner Chris Hill to change the designation of the County’s rural transit provider from CCART to TAPS, the Texoma Area Paratransit System.
CCART is in the process of moving out from under the umbrella of the Collin County Committee on Aging and reorganizing to better understand and serve the transportation needs of Collin County with a contract with First Transit that began in January of 2013. In 2012 First Transit also worked with CCART by contract to fully evaluate its operations and complete a needs assessment for transit in Collin County.
Commissioner Hill pointed out many shortcomings CCART has had over the years in advocating for the change of designation to TAPS. Mayor Loughmiller and Councilmember Kever reminded the Court that the decision that the County Commissioners make regarding the transit provider for the rural part of the County will impact and restrict the decision making ability of the McKinney City Council to designate the transportation provider for the McKinney Small Urban Area. The City first learned of the County’s potential interest in changing their designated transit provider last week during Collin County Days. Since the McKinney City Council has not had time to evaluate the matter, they requested that the decision of the Court be postponed.
Chamber President Jodi Ann LaFreniere Ray also spoke in support of the decision to delay a decision. She added that the full TAPS board has not considered the decision to invite Collin County to designate TAPS as its transit agency and all of the options regarding potential governance structures and providers have yet to be considered.
After more than two and a half hours of presentations and discussion, Commissioner Hill withdrew his motion to change transit providers to allow for more time for consideration of all of the options and the McKinney City Council to have the opportunity to evaluate their options. Mayor Loughmiller suggested that they could have their evaluation completed and their feedback submitted to the Commissioner’s Court by their first meeting in June.