The interlocal agreement between the city and CapMetro runs on a year-to-year basis and is set to expire Sept. 30, according to the city.
Jack Daly, Georgetown's assistant public works director, reported the agreement will allot a total of 4,782 hours of service in fiscal year 2022-23 but expects only 2,400 hours will be used at an hourly rate of $90.30. Additionally, the annual cost is covered 60% by the city and 40% by Section 5307 funds from CapMetro.
"We are not going to use our fully budgeted hours, so I am here to ask what we can consider in order to increase our number of rides," Daly said.
One consideration Daly mentioned is to open the service to residents age 65 and older as well as visitors who meet certain eligibility requirements.
Daly also recommended that the city's Transit Development Plan from 2016 be updated in fiscal year 2023-24 to identify future funds and alternatives to fixed route services.
"I like the idea of adding seniors to our paratransit services," Council Member Amanda Parr said in the meeting. "So, we can actually have data and make a better choice when we go to update the transit plan."
Georgetown's paratransit service, which is run by the Capital Area Rural Transportation System—or CARTS—as a subcontractor for Capital Metro, provides curb-to-curb service from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Eligible riders pay $2 each way and must make a reservation 24 hours in advance through the website or by calling 512-478-7433.
Eligibility and screening for paratransit services are provided through a paper application by the CARTS.
Current riders will need to recertify their eligibility by Oct. 1.
Agreement renewal will be presented to City Council later this year.
Read more about the initial agreement between Georgetown and CapMetro here.