TAPS Receives $1.6 Million Dollars For Improvements - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

TAPS Receives $1.6 Million Dollars For Improvements

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Texoma is getting a big boost for public transportation - $1.6 million dollars is going towards improving TAPS. KTEN's Katy Blakey has more.

Texoma Area Paratransit System serves 6 counties and provides affordable transportation for the public.  Just a few months ago, TAPS was battling to survive. There was even speculation they would have to close after mounting debt. KTEN learned Monday they are completely debt-free.

The $1.6 million breaks down into federal stimulus money, as well as state funds. This extra cash will go towards purchasing new buses, a state-of-the-art computer dispatch center and eco-friendly washing equipment.

"It's going to be huge," said Brad Underwood, TAPS Executive Director. "It's all about creating a better riding experience for our customers. With the GPS locating system you'll be able to call the same day and schedule your service. We'll be able to find the quickest and fastest route to get to your location and it will also implement going to a fixed route system for the Sherman/Denison area, which is huge."

Already, several improvements are happening. A direct route is now open between Sherman and Gainesville, and Sherman and Bonham. Come this fall, a "Roo Route" will be open. It will connect Austin College students to places within the community. Thanks to a donation made by a local dealership, buses will be equipped with TVs and DVDs to make the rides more enjoyable.

"It's a really good service for the community," said Janice Petty, who rides TAPS to the doctor's office. "It's really good especially for the elderly, handicapped and disabled. It's really helpful."

The service is extremely accessible to senior citizens, or those without a vehicle. But TAPS officials want to stress this service is open to anyone and is a bus service for the public.

For more information on rates and routes go to www.tapsbus.com.  Or you can call 800-256-0911.

Katy Blakey, KTEN News