Texoma Area Paratransit System celebrated the opening of a route that completes continuous TAPS service from McKinney to Durant, Okla., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Grayson College in Denison Tuesday morning.

Texoma Area Paratransit System celebrated the opening of a route that completes continuous TAPS service from McKinney to Durant, Okla., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Grayson College in Denison Tuesday morning.


TAPS has expanded its service area rapidly in recent years, and Chief Executive Officer Brad Underwood has seen a lot of ribbons cut with over-sized scissors. "It’s cheaper than champagne bottles," Underwood said, "and it does less damage to the buses."


The expansion of the "Viking Route," named for the Grayson County College mascot, was celebrated on Tuesday on the college’s campus, but the route has been operational for a couple of weeks, Underwood said. According to the Bonham-born CEO, the opening of the route makes it possible for TAPS passengers to ride the system’s buses as far South as McKinney and as far North as Durant, Okla.


According to TAPS’ website, the expanded bus route is the first mass transit system of its kind to connect Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Many local leaders, including Eddie Brown, president of the Sherman Chamber of Commerce, and Sherman City Council Member Ryan Johnson were present for ribbon cutting.


"You can get on a bus at Austin College and ride all the way up to Durant, or all the way down to Plano," Underwood said, "it’s really about access and mobility for the community." A statement from TAPS said that the expanded Viking Route is also "the first modern-day scheduled bus service to connect Sherman and Denison."


The expansion adds 45 new bus stops including 18 in the city of Denison. Underwood said that TAPS’ goal "is to continue to find ways to connect Texoma communities."


According to TAPS, the Viking Route "runs from 7:10 a.m. until midnight Monday through Friday. Saturday service runs from 3:40 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. There is no Sunday service on the route. Grayson College students showing a valid student ID can ride for free anywhere on the Viking Route. The general public can ride for $1 each trip. A complete listing of routes, bus stops, and departure times is available on the tapsbus.com website."


Scheduled bus stops in Denison include Coffin Street at College Street, Burnett Ave. at Main Street, Morton Street at Maurice Avenue, Morton Street Plaza Park and Ride and Wal-Wart at U.S. Highway 75 and Morton Street.


Scheduled bus stops in Sherman include Cherry Street at Gribble Avenue, 421 N. Travis Street (Sherman Public Library), 100 E. Taylor Street (Albertsons), and U.S. Highway 82 at U.S. Highway 75 (Wal-Mart).