The state awarded Fort Bend County $415,695 to fund public transportation projects in rural parts of the county through the Rural Area Federal Formula Program. County commissioners accepted the funding at its Sept. 7 meeting.

The program was created to provide people living in rural areas access to health care, employment, education and public services through expanding public transportation, according to the agreement. Federal funds were first distributed to the Texas Department of Transportation and then to Fort Bend County.

Transportation to rural county areas provided under the program will be conducted through the county’s Demand Response Service, according to Tennille Jones, community relations manager for Fort Bend Transit. Demand Response Service allows residents to schedule rides between destinations within the county, during weekdays and within business hours. The grant funds will be available until the end of 2022, according to county documents.

Fort Bend Transit started its operations in 2005 with the Demand Response Service, Jones said. The grant funds accepted at the Sept. 7 commissioners court meeting will allow service to continue. Fort Bend Transit typically seeks grant funding throughout the year to continue its operations, Jones said.

To use the service, residents can call 866-751-8747 at least one to 30 business days ahead to schedule a trip. The service costs $1 per passenger for a one-way ticket. Fare can be paid in exact change or tickets, which can be purchased online or at the county’s public transit office.