NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Some North Texas commuters are dealing with ‘bare bones’ public transportation service this morning. Residents in some of the largest cities in the metroplex are struggling to find a way to get around after The Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) reduced and eliminated a number of routes.READ MORE: 'My Nerves Are Still Rattled': Passenger Aboard Amtrak Train Talks Crash
All routes, except for three, will not be available today. A statement on the top of the TAPS website says, “TAPS fixed route buses will not run on Monday, and until further notice. This includes all routes in McKinney, Sherman, and Denison.”
Only the McKinney Commuter Connect, Allen Commuter Express to DART’s Parker Road station, and the Allen local routes are running as scheduled.
TAPS rider Reuben Clayborne was left more than a bit frustrated. “It me in a position… real bad position, where I’m worrying a lot about it. because everyone needs a way around.”
TAPS is a private, non-profit organization that serves North Texas seven counties. Until today there were transportation routes in Bryan, Clay, Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Wise, and Collin Counties.
The elimination and reduction of routes comes after TAPS lost crucial state funding on Thursday. On Friday officials voted to scale back operations. A TAPS spokesperson said more details on the ride reductions could be released today.READ MORE: Man, Pregnant Woman & Baby Killed In Crash Along Highway 360; Police Investigating
Last week TAPS laid off dozens of drivers and call center employees. Former TAPS Employee Tina Richie said, “You know, we were here for a purpose and we worked for that purpose. For it to be thrown away because of mismanagement, people being in positions that they shouldn’t be in, it’s very, very gut-wrenching.”
According to officials with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), contracts were ended when the system failed to maintain financial integrity. The Texas Office of Inspector General is also allegedly investigating the agency for possible criminal wrongdoing.
The cancellation of the HHSC contract has also put some Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation patients in a difficult position. As it stands, officials with TAPS say trips for medical-related clients are being rerouted to other providers and should not be interrupted.
As of Monday morning there’s no word when or if regular TAPS service will return.MORE NEWS: Flash Flooding: Second Body Recovered After Vehicle Swept From Texas Bridge
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