The Regional Transportation Council approved the use of up to $1.8 million for continuing the Collin County Rides program in Allen and Fairview after Sept. 30.

Denton County Transportation Authority is slated to continue transit services after Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s contract for the program is set to expire later this year. The program provides transit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, according to the council’s July 13 meeting agenda.

The gist

The funds will be made up of about $300,000 in local council funds, matched by Allen and Fairview, which will fund the first year. Any other operations would be funded by the Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program funds.

Wylie, which is also serviced by the Collin County Rides program, is evaluating other options for transit. Staff will seek further action from the council if the city requests funding support for transit services.

Senior Program Manager Shannon Stevenson said if the council does not approve funding, the service may be suspended, and there could be gaps in coverage. Funding is accounted for in two phases because federal funds take time to get in place, she said.

Several agreements have to be approved by the Denton County Transportation Authority along with the cities of Allen and Fairview before services expire.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that this service is not interrupted between now and Oct. 1,” she said.

By the numbers

To qualify for the program, a registered user must be age 65 or older or have a qualifying disability, according to DART’s website. They must also be a permanent resident of a qualified city.

Under the program, users can travel anywhere within Collin County as long as the origin or destination of the trip is within their resident city.

More than 400 users were registered as of April, according to a staff presentation.

Also on the agenda

In the same meeting, the transportation council also approved $5.3 million for enhancements to the Silver Line Regional Rail Project. The amount was approved as a final component of mediations between Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the city of Dallas.

Editor's note: This story's headline has been updated to clarify that Denton County Transportation Authority is taking over the Collin County Rides program.