Flower Mound Town Council voted unanimously Aug. 23 to approve a new contract with Denton-based SPAN Inc. that expands demand response transit service for those age 65 or older as well as those who cannot drive due to a disability.

New to the town's contract with SPAN is the ability for qualified Flower Mound residents to travel to Denton for essential services such as medical and dental appointments, essential shopping, travel to and from work, support programs for adults with special needs, and senior citizen events. Rides are already allowed for eligible town residents throughout Flower Mound, Lewisville and Highland Village.

Under the SPAN contract, the town of Flower Mound will be charged $28.52 per one-way trip in fiscal year 2022. Riders pay a $5 fare. Some of the trips are eligible for reimbursement from Medicaid, and SPAN would assume all liability in the case of a vehicular accident, according to the contract.

Ridership through the service has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a town staff memo. SPAN averaged 93 trips per month through June of this fiscal year for 24 different residents. SPAN averaged 144 rides per month the previous fiscal year, according to the memo.

Town Council approved a budget not to exceed $49,625 to subsidize travel for in-need residents. That allows for 145 one-way trips per month. Any unused trips are rolled over into the next month, according to the contract that goes into effect Oct. 1.

In addition, a Section 5310 Grant from the Federal Transit Authority for small and rural communities could provide as much as $34,220 through the fiscal year, if needed. That funding would allow an extra 100 one-way trips per month, according to the memo.

According to town staff, there are no other viable public transit options for users of the SPAN service.

The demand response transit service in Flower Mound is available between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays. Click here for further information on using the service.