New $1 million dollar project to make TAPS safer - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

New $1 million dollar project to make TAPS safer

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SHERMAN, TX – Construction has begun on a $1 million training faculty at the taps headquarters on Texoma Parkway. When it's done, the facility is expected to roll out a growing fleet of well-trained drivers.

Josh Walker is the director of safety for TAPS and the head manager for this construction project.  He says it's important that drivers are trained properly before they hit the road.

"We'll be able to train all our drivers to better serve the community, and our region and our area," said Walker.

Walker says a key part of the new facility will be a driver training simulator which will be one of the first to be installed in Texas.

He says the virtual driving will go a long way to prepare drivers for the real thing.

"This simulator basically reproduces real life scenarios so that the drivers are better trained to handle issues," he said.

The simulator will train drivers how to make wide turns and hard stops and even give them a chance to deal with pedestrians in situations where no one can get hurt.

"We began working with FAAC back in November to begin the construction of the simulator," Walker said.

Walker tell us TAPS sent the FAAC models of their buses to make sure the simulator was as real for the trainees as possible.

Other agencies in Texoma will benefit from the simulator as well.

"We'll be training our drivers as well as other transit entities around us," said Walker. "We also have what we call an own-ship, so that one of them is an ambulance for an example. So we can reach out into other branches, not just transit."

Walker told KTEN the simulator will allow other agencies access to an otherwise unaffordable experience. He says the facility will train up to 300 employees a year and will be fully operational by mid-June.