When TAPS launched the Viking Route for Grayson College in 2009, both the school and the regional transportation service were much smaller. Now, both organizations are a lot farther down the road. On Monday, October 14, TAPS launched its largest fixed-route upgrade ever in Grayson County, built on a foundation of bus service created for a growing Grayson College.
On Tuesday, October 22, city, county, state officials, and representatives of Grayson College and TAPS Public Transit gathered on the campus to launch the routes with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The event was hosted by J.P. McMillen, president, Grayson College.
With the addition of 17 new stops in Denison, riders on the TAPS system can now travel from as far south as the 600 block of south Heritage Pkwy (FM 1417) to Durant, Okla. —via the Red River Route.
Riders can also connect at Midway Mall to the TexExpress on weekdays and get to the DART Parker Road Station in Plano. But most of the traffic will be getting riders to stops closer to home, in Sherman and Denison.
Brad Underwood, TAPS CEO and Executive Director, said the routes have been in the planning stage for the past year. “Our partner, Grayson College, has seen tremendous growth —expansion at both campuses and an increasing student population— and TAPS has been a big part of that growth by getting students to classes by connecting the region to their Main and Van Alstyne campuses,” said Underwood.
“Another important thing to remember,” said Underwood, “is that the Viking Routes are not exclusive to Grayson College students.” In fact, all TAPS Public Transit routes that are not specifically contracted employee shuttles are available to the general public. “Our motto is ‘Everyone Rides,’ and that holds true for the expanded Viking Routes. Anyone can pay the fare and ride a TAPS bus to any stop on our fixed-route system.”
Riders can travel in Sherman and Denison —and between the two cities— on Saturdays. Along the 20 stops in Denison riders can get to restaurants, theaters, and key shopping areas, or make connections to access another 25 stops in Sherman, and as far north as Durant, Okla.
Speaking for the Grayson College, McMillen said, “TAPS has been a tremendous partner. The availability of free transportation to and from class has made it possible for many of our students to achieve their educational goals.”
Find all Viking Route schedules online at www.TAPSbus.com, or pick up a route map and guide at the TAPS main office in Sherman, at the Midway Mall Park & Ride, or at student services on the campuses of Grayson College.
TAPS Public Transit provides public transportation to a 7 county area including Clay, Collin, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Montague and Wise counties.
When the bus on Viking Route 600 departs Midway Mall at 7:10 am, it will be the first of 23 stops scheduled on a loop that travels south along Texoma Parkway, east on Grand Avenue to Austin College, west on Cherry Street, north on Travis Street through downtown Sherman, and continuing up N. Travis Street to Hwy 691, and west to the Grayson College main campus in Denison. The route makes 11 loops ending the daytime schedule at 5:51 pm.
Viking Route 700 begins at 7:13 am at Creekview Apartments in the 700 block of Heritage Pkwy (FM 1417) in Sherman, and continues north to Taylor Street, then east to Albertson’s. From Albertson’s the next stop is Sam’s Club on Loy Lake Road. The route lops to Grayson College. Beginning at 8:00 am, Viking Route 700 departs Grayson College and heads to Heritage Pkwy where the loop repeats until 5:46 pm. There are 11 stops on Viking Route 700.
Viking Route 800 connects Grayson College with 20 stop destinations in the City of Denison. The weekday route begins at 7:10 am at Midway Mall, travels north on Texoma Pkw. Stop number 836 drops off and picks up at Burnett Avenue and Main Street at Heritage Park. From there, Viking Route 800 travels to Morton Street where riders can connect to TAPS Public Transit’s Red River Route at the Morton Street Plaza Park & Ride lot. The Red River Route offers 7-day-a-week day and night service to Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant.