The city of Georgetown is weighing the future of its public transit services and exploring what options are available to expand or improve those services.

Georgetown City Council directed staff May 9 to develop a new Transit Development Plan, which would go into effect fiscal year 2025.

Paratransit services—transportation available to people with disabilities—have been in place since 2021, and Georgetown has also been offering rides for seniors for roughly six months. Based on data about the total number of rides given in recent months—more than 2,100 trips between October 2022-March 2023—council members decided those services should continue.

City staff have noticed an increase in public transit users. Nathaniel Waggoner, systems engineer, said roughly 10-20 seniors are signing up for services each month.

Also, while stores, multifamily housing and health care centers are among the highest destinations for the public, the city has also found individual addresses to be frequent users of the transit program.

“We do have riders who rely on the service for their weekly needs, if not daily. So [residential addresses] are some of our top origins and places people are coming and going from,” Waggoner said.

At $54 a trip in costs to the city, council members also discussed how to make transportation programs more efficient and lower the city’s expenses.

Between 2017-2021, the city conducted a Lyft pilot program as well as explored options for micro-transit services, which often use virtual bus stops—created instantaneously based on convenience and safety for passengers—to pick up and drop off passengers.

District 5 Council Member Kevin Pitts said he believes a rideshare option, such as a voucher program in which the city would pay for a portion of people’s rides, would be more efficient for citizens and fiscally responsible for the city.

“I would rather see citizens be able to be picked up door to door rather than having to get to a virtual bus stop that will have no signage,” he said.