Submitted by Chris Hill, Collin County Commissioner
The commissioners court is responsible for designating the rural transportation provider for the county. For many years here in Collin County, that provider has been CCART.
On Monday night at the commissioners court meeting, I will make a presentation to the court detailing the reasons why I believe CCART is no longer fit to be our rural transit provider. I will also recommend that we designate a different organization, TAPS, to serve in that capacity going forward.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I think we should make the change:
— Since 2008, CCART annual ridership has decreased by more than 107,500 persons, at a time when the county population was increasing dramatically.
— Since 2009, over $622,000 in state & federal grant funds were awarded to CCART for transporation services in Collin County, but were never received by CCART due to poor management and under-utilization. These funds could have been used to serve the over 100,000 people who abandoned the system.
— CCART operates at an average of 1 passenger per day per vehicle, at a per-passenger cost of $84.29. TAPS operates at an average of 15 passengers per day per vehicle, at a per-passenger cost of $15.01. source: TxDOT PTN-128 Quarterly Summary Report
— TAPS averages 20 times more passengers daily than CCART (521 to 22), while serving a population area one third the size of CCART. source: TxDOT PTN-128 Quarterly Summary Report
— CCART ratios for operating costs per total miles and operating costs per total hours are both three times higher than TAPS. source: TxDOT PTN- 128 Quarterly Summary Report
— TAPS’ equipment failure rate is once every 28,857 system miles. CCART’s equipment failure rate is once every 308 system miles. source: TxDOT PTN-128 Quarterly Summary Report
— “The reduction in fixed-route services in the McKinney area (by CCART) has resulted in a significant reduction in ridership. Simultaneously, the fixed-route service offered by TAPS just to the north of Collin County has expanded dramatically during the same period.” source: Collin County Transit Needs Study [DRAFT], North Central Texas Council of Governments
— “A potential may exist for some form of integration of CCART services into TAPS’ operations.” source: Collin County Transit Needs Study [DRAFT], North Central Texas Council of Governments
While the evidence is rather conclusive, I expect the discussion has the potential to be more divided. In discussions with stakeholders from our region, there appears to be a general sense of fear of change.
I contend that Collin County deserves to have better rural transportation services, particularly for our elderly and disabled citizens. I think we can do better, and on Monday night, I’ll propose a way we can do better.
I invite you to join us. Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. It wil be held at the City of Plano Municipal Center, Council Chamber, 1520 Avenue K, Plano.