12/01/2015

   
Texas paratransit system could owe state close to $1M

From "Metro" & "The Dallas Morning News"

TEXOMA, Texas

Issues for the Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) continue, with an audit by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) finding that the agency should reimburse the state for $930,619 as well as an additional $800,078 in noncompliant transactions that TAPS may be required to repay to the state, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The audit found TAPS had not submitted sufficient documentation for its requests for reimbursement, did not have processes in place to ensure compliance with TxDOT agreements and that its cost allocation methods were not sufficiently supported.

Earlier this month, the agency had to lay off 59 employees after losing an important state contract. The state said the decision to terminate was made after they concluded TAPS failed to pay their subcontractors, employees, and maintain their financial integrity as called for in the contract.

 

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7 in 10 Americans support increased funding for public transit

A new national survey reveals that more than seven in 10 Americans support increased federal funding for the nation's public transportation systems, including those that serve small cities, towns and large urban areas.

The survey was conducted by ORC International for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and it shows support for increased funding for public transit is consistent across communities of all sizes.

Support for increased public transportation funding was also seen across age groups and political affiliations, with some of the highest numbers among Millennials ages 18 to 34 (77%) and individuals age 65 and older (76%).

"No matter where you live and work - and what age you are, public transit provides vital access to jobs and everything a community has to offer," said APTA President/CEO Michael P. Melaniphy. "As Congress finalizes its work on the surface transportation bill, we must ensure we provide for both large and smaller communities through growth of the federal transit program."

Owning or having access to a private vehicle does not diminish public transit support across the nation, with 71% of car owners reporting that they want to see more federal investment in public transportation in both large and small communities. In addition, a majority (56%) of respondents said public transit is important in attracting and retaining employers in their community.

When asked about the types of public transit survey respondents are familiar with in their community, they noted scheduled bus (57%), van/buses for persons with disabilities (51%), passenger train (40%), inter-state bus (37%), commuter vanpools (27%), trolleys (20%) and ferries (19%).

The national online study was conducted for APTA by ORC International in the summer of 2015 among a sample of 1,019 individuals age 18 or older. The results have a 95% confidence level.

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