Beginning in early 2006, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) contracted with 24 regional lead entities to plan for the development and enhancement of coordinated regional public transportation operations and services. Initial funds were contracted in the spring of 2006 for the development of Regional Coordination Plans. These plans were completed and submitted in 2006 and subsequently updated and improved in 2007. The Local Government Services (LGS) Department of PRPC was selected as the regional lead entity for the Texas Panhandle and has served as the administrator of the Regional Transportation Planning efforts in the region since 2006.
The Panhandle Regional Organization to Maximize Public Transportation (PROMPT) was established in 2006 to bring representatives from the different sectors affected by public transportation together in a joint planning effort. Local governments, health and human services providers, transportation providers, disabled and elderly citizens, and the public at large are all well represented on the RTAG. The RTAG oversaw the adoption of the 2007 Regional Transportation Planning Plan and is currently overseeing the adoption of the 2011 Update.
Through the experience gained in the process of working with the Regional Transportation Planning Plan, LGS staff has begun expanding their services into other transportation related areas. Currently, LGS staff is working with the Senior Ambassador’s Coalition to establish a Ride Voucher program to ease the use of the public transportation system for the elderly and disabled in the region. LGS staff is also closely monitoring and participating in the statewide discussion of Rural Planning Organizations (RPO) that would allow local elected officials to have increased influence on TXDOT’s project expenditures within the region. PRPC Staff is currently serving as the administrative agent for two RPOs.