CARTS Introduces new buses to Rural Transit Fleet

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

The Marble Falls City Council gets a look Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the new Country Bus recently deployed by Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS). In the photo, from left, are council member Craig Magerkurth; Christi Murrill, a 16-year-veteran CARTS driver; council member William (Dee) Haddock; mayor pro tem Richard Westerman; mayor John Packer; council members Reed Norman, Dave Rhodes and Megan Klaeger, and Dana Platt, CARTS community services director. The historical train depot building at 801 US 281 became the CARTS depot in January. See schedules and details at www.ridecarts.com/services/country/marble-falls.

CARTS Introduces new buses to Rural Transit Fleet

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

A little ceremony at 5:45 p.m., before the Marble Falls City Council meeting tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 17, will recognize the introduction of new busses to the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS).

CARTS serves 10-county and urban areas, including Burnet County. The new 22-foot Country Bus vehicles have been rolling out to the areas this month.

Colorful high-back red seating, grab bars and a wheel chair life are features to be enjoyed during CARTS passenger trips for up to 35 people a day, and reaching 4,000 from Marble Falls, in the last year. The Country Bus also provides some 3,000 medical transportation trips and 400 more take the Interurban Coach route.

The Texas Department of Transportation was awarded more than $20.8 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants to improve transportation services for rural populations in October of 2015.

The funding is helping replace 325 vehicles located throughout the state that are used to transport rural residents and CARTS was one of the rural transit recipients selected to receive funds.

“This award has helped CARTS supplement rural transit fleet with 20 new buses to our Country Bus fleet,” said a press release from the Austin headquarters. “These additions to our fleet will increase the reliability and safety of the services we provide to our rural customers.”

The Country Bus is a flexible service that provides rides locally and to nearby destinations, but requires a ride reservation be made in advance. Ideal for seniors, disabled individuals or others requiring special assistance, this community transit service provides curb-to-curb transportation throughout the CARTS district, and connects to the regional intercity bus network for extending access beyond local destinations.

At a ribbon cutting in January, the historic train depot at 801 US 281 in Marble Falls became a CARTS depot.

The funds also will go toward updating or constructing transportation facilities in or near the following Texas cities: South Padre Island, Early, Weatherford and Cedar Creek. (the CARTS Tucker Hill Lane Campus and Lee Dildy Operations Center).

CARTS is a rural and small urban transit district serving the non-urbanized areas of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee and Travis counties, and the City of San Marcos/Martindale urbanized district. CARTS provides community-based regional transportation throughout its district.

For information about CARTS and its services visit the website www.RideCARTS.com.

 

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