The McKinney Urban Transit District board voted in April 2017 on policies to re-establish limited public transportation services in the McKinney Urbanized Area. The board voted on a hybrid plan allowing for a taxi voucher program to begin and dedicated demand response service when vehicles are acquired. The taxi voucher program will allow the board to determine the level of demand for public transit services within the McKinney Urbanized Area. Taxi services will also have the ability to accommodate paratransit passengers. City staff will begin the process of selecting a service provider for these programs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Transit in McKinney
The City of McKinney desires to keep residents informed on the status of public transit within the city. Below is a list of commonly asked questions the city has received. Please contact Chandler Merritt if you have additional questions that are not answered below.
Is McKinney required to provide public transit?
Each community decides the level of public transit provided to its citizens. While there is no legal requirement to provide public transit services, the state and federal government provide incentives to cities by offering grant funding which contain administrative conditions to funding.
How will the taxi voucher program work?
Eligible users will be able to purchase a taxi voucher for 25% of the voucher’s value with a limit of $400 per month, per user. For example, a user can purchase a $400 voucher for $100, or they can purchase a $100 voucher for $25. The number of vouchers issued is subject to state and local funding availability.
Who will administer the taxi voucher program?
McKinney is currently soliciting proposals from local transit authorities that will implement this program.
Who is eligible for the taxi voucher program?The policies established by the board will provide limited public transit services for seniors 65 years and over and individuals with disabilities as defined by the Urban Transit District. The board also directed staff to amend this policy to potentially include citizens in hardship situations.
What is the history of public transit in McKinney?
McKinney was most recently served by the Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) for public transit services, which provided fixed route, paratransit and general on-demand response service within the city limits. TAPS began canceling services in McKinney and other areas as it began to experience financial troubles in the last quarter of 2015. TAPS canceled all services in McKinney in late November 2015, leading McKinney to cancel its contract with TAPS.
How much did the city pay for TAPS?
McKinney budgeted and spent $100,000 per year for TAPS services. TAPS received supplemental funding from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to assist in funding transit operations in McKinney.
How long has the city been without public transit?
TAPS began canceling services in McKinney and other areas as it began to experience financial troubles in the last quarter of 2015. TAPS canceled all services in McKinney in late November 2015, leading McKinney to cancel its contract with TAPS.
When does the city expect to start service again?
The city is working to obtain access to the same funding sources TAPS used to assist with funding transit in McKinney. Below are some of the steps the city has recently taken to begin limited public transit services in McKinney.
- April 2017 - The board voted on a hybrid plan allowing for a taxi voucher program to begin and dedicated demand response service when vehicles are acquired. View agenda and video of the meeting.
- Late February 2017 - McKinney was named the Direct Recipient of FTA 5307 funds.
- February 2017 – The McKinney Urban Transit District board held its first meeting to discuss potential options for bringing public transit to the McKinney Urbanized Area. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) made presentations regarding what potential services are available and the funding required. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) made a presentation about available federal funding for the McKinney Urbanized Area. Read more about the meeting.
- January 2017 – At the direction of the FTA, the McKinney City Council passed a resolution officially requesting to transfer Direct Recipient status of FTA 5307 funds to the City of McKinney. In addition, the McKinney City Council approved a Master Grant Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to receive grant funding for implementing public transit.
- September 2016 – TxDOT sent a recommendation to FTA for concurrence for the City of McKinney to become the direct recipient for the MUZA.
- August 2016 – McKinney formally requested to be named a direct recipient for the Urbanized Area Formula Program to FTA (via TxDOT) for the McKinney Urbanized Area (MUZA).
- July 2016 – McKinney sent a request to the McKinney Urbanized Area members (McKinney, Prosper, Celina, Melissa, Lowry Crossing, Princeton and Collin County) for their initial appointment to the Board of Directors for the Urban Transit District.
- June 2016 – McKinney authorized the creation of an Urban Transit District. This district can apply for and receive grant funding from TxDOT for public transit services. Following City Council authorization, the resolution was sent to TxDOT for approval.
What is an Urban Transit District?
An Urban Transit District is an entity that may be formed to receive TxDOT grant funding for transit operations. The City Council formed an Urban Transit District in McKinney by Resolution in June 2016. The city was previously under the same designation held by TAPS, but it now holds the designation for the McKinney Urbanized Area. Bylaws have been approved by the Urban Transit District board which include stipulations that all board meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act. The city will televise meetings on McKinney TV, which can be viewed on Spectrum Cable, Ch. 16 and AT&T U-Verse, Ch. 99, or streamed online.
What is the McKinney Urbanized Area?
The McKinney Urbanized Area (MUZA) is an area defined by the FTA for the purposes of determining the amount of grant funding available to that area. The MUZA is proposed to the FTA to include McKinney, Melissa, Princeton, Lowry Crossing, Prosper and Celina.
What DART services are available in Collin County?
DART provides service to some cities in Collin County including Wylie, Fairview and Allen on an interim basis as part of a grant given to DART by Toyota to provide transit services in Collin County. Each city has its own arrangement to fund services, but each city is contributing a portion of the funds necessary to provide these services.
Why didn't McKinney accept funding from Toyota?
The Toyota grant to provide services in Collin County was given to DART and not to individual cities or the North Central Texas Council of Governments. To gain access to these funds, McKinney would have to make a financial commitment to DART, and the city is not prepared to commit at this time to any one transit provider for service in McKinney.
Is DART an option for McKinney?
When the Urban Transit District has its initial meeting, staff intends to ask DART, the Denton County Transportation Authority and other transit providers to present options to the McKinney Urbanized Area on what services can be provided with the available funding.
Can the city use Type A / Type B money for public transit?
The McKinney Community Development Corporation board could choose to provide funding for public transit (facilities/equipment) in McKinney using Type B funds. The McKinney Economic Development Corporation is restricted by state law from funding transit with Type A funds.
What state and federal funds are available for public transit?
Several funding sources are available to the McKinney Urbanized Area. The city’s Urban Transit District is currently pursuing state grant funds from TxDOT. The McKinney Urbanized Area is also able to receive 5307 formula funding from the federal government. These are the primary funding sources McKinney is currently pursuing.
What additional transit options are offered in the City of McKinney apart from the proposed taxi voucher program?
Uber, Lyft and Yellow Cab operate in McKinney.