By Robbie Owens

DeSOTO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s not DART, but in DeSoto, demand for public transportation has city leaders looking to catch a ride on another rapidly expanding option:  It’s called Star Transit.

“Options,” insists DeSoto’s Frank Morris. “It means options.”

Frank Morris holds a doctorate in economics from MIT, but the former professor and current DeSoto resident says the link between economic development and transportation access isn’t that complicated.

“It’s undoubtedly going to be good for the community,” says Dr. Morris.  “It’s a no brainer.  It’s an absolute no brainer.”

The fixed ride service, which costs $1, will have stops at local senior residences, several apartment complexes and will also provide a stop to connect to DART.  But, perhaps the greatest demand has been from employers:  DeSoto has added some three million square feet of warehouse space in the past few years, and that means more workers.

“We contacted these industries and said ‘we’re coming to town, do you think that your employees will use us?'” says Kim Britton with Star Transit.  “And all of them that we contacted were like ‘Absolutely! When are you starting, and how quickly can you start?'”

 “The time is now: employers need to get their people to work. We need to get people to medical appointments,” says DeSoto Mayor Curtistene Smith McCowan.  “I know that quality of life is going to be enhanced, I know it is.”

 In addition to the Fixed Route, an expanded ‘on demand’ service will be available starting May 1.

 It’s a great time to give it a try.  Until May 31, everyone can ride the fixed route for free.  Thereafter, qualified seniors, veterans and disabled residents who sign up can continue to ride for free.

 Supporters say it will mean more independence for seniors and the disabled and will continue to help attract new businesses to the area.

“It’s so needed,” says Dr. Morris, “and people, once they find and use it, will wonder how we ever got along without it.”

CLICK HERE for more information on Star Transit in DeSoto.