Frequently Asked Questions About Public Transit in McKinney
The City of McKinney desires to keep residents informed on the status of public transit within the city. Below is a list of commonly asked questions the city has received. Please contact Chandler Merritt if you have additional questions that are not answered below.
Is McKinney required to provide public transit?
Each community decides the level of public transit provided to its citizens. While there is no legal requirement to provide public transit services, the state and federal government provide incentives to cities by offering grant funding which contain administrative conditions to funding.
What is the history of public transit in McKinney?
McKinney was most recently served by the Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) for public transit services, which provided fixed route, paratransit and general on-demand response service within the city limits. TAPS began canceling services in McKinney and other areas as it began to experience financial troubles in the last quarter of 2015. TAPS canceled all services in McKinney in late November 2015, leading McKinney to cancel its contract with TAPS.
How much did the city pay for TAPS?
McKinney budgeted and spent $100,000 per year for TAPS services. TAPS received supplemental funding from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to assist in funding transit operations in McKinney.
How long has the city been without public transit?
TAPS began canceling services in McKinney and other areas as it began to experience financial troubles in the last quarter of 2015. TAPS canceled all services in McKinney in late November 2015, leading McKinney to cancel its contract with TAPS.
When does the city expect to start service again?
The city is working to obtain access to the same funding sources TAPS used to assist with funding transit in McKinney. Below are some of the steps the city has recently taken to begin limited public transit services in McKinney.
- June 2016 – McKinney authorized the creation of an Urban Transit District. This district can apply for and receive grant funding from TxDOT for public transit services. Following City Council authorization, the resolution was sent to TxDOT for approval.
- July 2016 – McKinney sent a request to the McKinney Urbanized Area members (McKinney, Prosper, Celina, Melissa, Lowry Crossing, Princeton and Collin County) for their initial appointment to the Board of Directors for the Urban Transit District.
- August 2016 – McKinney formally requested to be named a direct recipient for the Urbanized Area Formula Program to FTA (via TxDOT) for the McKinney Urbanized Area (MUZA).
- September 2016 – TxDOT sent a recommendation to FTA for concurrence for the City of McKinney to become the direct recipient for the MUZA.
- July 2016 to present – McKinney continues to address administrative requirements required to receive funding for both TxDOT and FTA grant funding. This includes, but is not limited to: Master Grant Agreement execution, formal application, FTA Certification and Assurances (executed), ethics certifications, Title VI Program for transportation, written procurement policies and procedures for transit, preventative maintenance program, indirect cost plan, draft budget, draft Urban Transit District bylaws, etc.
- January 2017 – At the direction of the FTA, the McKinney City Council passed a resolution officially requesting to transfer Direct Recipient status of FTA 5307 funds to the City of McKinney. In addition, the McKinney City Council approved a Master Grant Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to receive grant funding for implementing public transit.
- February 2017 – The McKinney Urban Transit District board held its first meeting to discuss potential options for bringing public transit to the McKinney Urbanized Area. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) made presentations regarding what potential services are available and the funding required. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) made a presentation about available federal funding for the McKinney Urbanized Area. Read more about the meeting.
- Late February 2017 - McKinney was named the Direct Recipient of FTA 5307 funds.
What options are being considered for public transit?
Per the direction of the McKinney Urban Transit District board, staff is working toward several policy options on levels and types of transit for participating cities within the McKinney urbanized area to present to the board for their consideration. These options could include limited general demand-response service, a taxi-cab voucher program and a public-private partnership with a public transit authority and a private transportation network company. The District re-affirmed their intent to prioritize transit for those who need it most and then respond with slow and conservative growth of the system as the demand warrants.
What is an Urban Transit District?
An Urban Transit District is an entity that may be formed to receive TxDOT grant funding for transit operations. The City Council formed an Urban Transit District in McKinney by Resolution in June 2016. The city was previously under the same designation held by TAPS, but it now holds the designation for the McKinney Urbanized Area. Bylaws have been approved by the Urban Transit District board which include stipulations that all board meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act. The city will televise meetings on McKinney TV, which can be viewed on Spectrum Cable, Ch. 16 and AT&T U-Verse, Ch. 99, or streamed online.
What is the McKinney Urbanized Area?
The McKinney Urbanized Area (MUZA) is an area defined by the FTA for the purposes of determining the amount of grant funding available to that area. The MUZA is proposed to the FTA to include McKinney, Melissa, Princeton, Lowry Crossing, Prosper and Celina.
What DART services are available in Collin County?
DART provides service to some cities in Collin County including Wylie, Fairview and Allen on an interim basis as part of a grant given to DART by Toyota to provide transit services in Collin County. Each city has its own arrangement to fund services, but each city is contributing a portion of the funds necessary to provide these services.
Why didn't McKinney accept funding from Toyota?
The Toyota grant to provide services in Collin County was given to DART and not to individual cities or the North Central Texas Council of Governments. To gain access to these funds, McKinney would have to make a financial commitment to DART, and the city is not prepared to commit at this time to any one transit provider for service in McKinney.
Is DART an option for McKinney?
When the Urban Transit District has its initial meeting, staff intends to ask DART, the Denton County Transportation Authority and other transit providers to present options to the McKinney Urbanized Area on what services can be provided with the available funding.
Can the city use Type A / Type B money for public transit?
The McKinney Community Development Corporation board could choose to provide funding for public transit (facilities/equipment) in McKinney using Type B funds. The McKinney Economic Development Corporation is restricted by state law from funding transit with Type A funds.
What state and federal funds are available for public transit?
Several funding sources are available to the McKinney Urbanized Area. The city’s Urban Transit District is currently pursuing state grant funds from TxDOT. The McKinney Urbanized Area is also able to receive 5307 formula funding from the federal government. These are the primary funding sources McKinney is currently pursuing.
What transit options are currently offered in the City of McKinney?
Uber, Lyft and Yellow Cab operate in McKinney.