TAPS Public Transit received its annual boost from a state agency last month. The Texas Department of Transportation recently allocated $1.06 million for TAPS for services in the upcoming fiscal year.


The awards were among $76 million that TxDOT awarded to transit providers across the state during its June meeting, and representatives with TAPS said the funds will be used for a variety of projects and services including rural and urban transit, along with local match for other funding and grant opportunity.


"They do this ever year, and this is for the next fiscal year’s funding," TAPS General Manager Josh Walker said. "The state came out with their urbanized funds that come directly from the state of Texas along with rural funds. Those are used to match federal funds."


Walker noted that the state awards were slightly lower than in previous years. However, the loss was negligible and TAPS was aware that it was coming. Despite this, TAPS is expected to present a $2.6 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.


"We were cautioned that that due to the current nature of this year, it would be a little light," he said.


TAPS was awarded $219,000 for its small urban transportation. An additional $569,000 was allocated for rural transit.


"The state of Texas gives transit projects that are considered rural a little bit more cash due to the nature of the rural area," Walker said.


An additional $130,000 was allocated to the Paris District for transportation for elderly and disable riders. Walker noted that this is meant to cover two years of services, meaning TAPS would have access to about $65,000 for the upcoming year.


Likewise, $28,000 was allocated for the first two years of a pilot program that will see TAPS partner with a transit provider in Denton County to provide transportation for veterans.


The program would see veterans and other riders transported between the two service areas and to the Bonham Veterans Hospital.


"We are still working out the details," Walker said. "We do not have payments for grants, but the funding has been awarded to us."


In addition to these funds, TAPS was approved for $191,000 of bonus federal funding based on performance and service provided, Walker said. This comes in addition to $577,000 in federal funds that it was previously awarded for the upcoming year.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.