Starting on June 1, residents living in Melissa who are 65 years of age and older or disabled have a new option to get around, the Collin County Transit Taxi Voucher Program.
The program, created by the Mckinney Urban Transit District (MUTD), subsidizes taxi rides for residents in Melissa who qualify.
“It’s the same standard rate as a taxi cab, but how this program works is that the rides are subsidized at 75% by the participating city,” Kristina Brevard said.
Brevard works for the Denton County Transportation Authority as the Vice President of Planning and Development. DTCA was chosen by MUTD to provide service for the rides.
“Though our name is Denton County Transportation Authority, we are actually providing service throughout Collin County,” Brevard said, “and have been for the past year and half.”
On May 23 at Melissa City Hall, DCTA held a qualification event where residents could come and prequalify for the program. No residents attended the event, though Brevard said the day before in Mckinney 40 individuals signed up for the program.
To qualify for the voucher program individuals need to be a resident of Melissa, Mckinney, Princeton or Lowry Crossing and must be 65 years old or older or disabled.
Residents must prequalify by showing their proof or age or disability and proof of residency. After the application process, customers will receive a debit card which they can load funds onto. The maximum amount a customer can load onto their card is $100 in one month. Their contribution will be matched by a 3-1 ratio, meaning if they load the maximum amount of $100, it will be matched with an additional $300 on the card.
All the on-site qualifications events have passed, but people still wanting to use the program can print out the application and either email, fax or mail it to DCTA.
This program is not open to Anna residents or people living out of the county. Riders also will only be able to travel within the county.
“They can travel within Collin County (only),” Brevard said. “ For the service hours we have Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
Jason Little, the Melissa City Manager, said the city pays approximately $3,000 a year to be a part of this program, and that cost could go down as other cities join.
Celina is expected to join the program this fall.
The voucher program comes after TAPS was forced to discontinue service in Collin County because of financial instability. This new program is a direct result of TAPS ending service, Little said.