In 1995, the Victoria County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) commissioned a Transit Feasibility Study for the City of Victoria. The study was designed to identify the need for transit service in the city of Victoria and surrounding Victoria County, investigate service alternatives, and develop an efficient and effective operations plan.
The Transit Feasibility Study was conducted in three phases, with decision points at the end of each phase. In Phase I, transit need was identified using feedback from focus group meetings, stakeholder interviews, target market surveys, and existing demographic data. The results of Phase I indicated that the general population as well as seniors and the disabled have a need for transit, and transit need is highest in the central and southern portion of the city of Victoria.
Transit alternatives were analyzed in Phase II. Several service strategies were recommended, including the coordination of existing services designed to meet the specialized needs of seniors and the disabled, and flexible-route service for the general public. In Phase III, the cost-effectiveness and financial feasibility of the recommended service strategies were evaluated. Financial feasibility was identified based on the ability to fund the proposed transportation services with a mix of federal, state, and local sources.
The study was concluded in July 1997 when the Victoria City Council authorized the Planning Department to submit a grant application for funding of transportation services. The findings of the study are being used in the decision-making process of planning and implementing transportation services in Victoria.
By resolution, the City of Victoria has designated Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission (GCRPC) as the Urban Transit District for Victoria and has entered into an Interlocal Agreement with GCRPC to administer and operate a Small-Urban Transit Program in the city of Victoria. As stated above, one of the service strategies identified and recommended was a coordination effort among the existing transit providers. GCRPC is an existing provider and has been administering a Rural Transportation program for over 29 years. GCRPC implemented Victoria Transit on January 4, 1999, providing demand response curb-to-curb services Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for all residents regardless of age living in Victoria. A day in advance notice is required when scheduling a ride.
In March 2002 Victoria Transit began its fixed route system for the City of Victoria.
The Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission’s RTRANSIT program is one of 42 rural transit systems in the State of Texas. Texas has the largest rural population in the nation and the largest rural general public transportation program. The Golden Crescent Region is also predominantly rural. According to the 1990 Census, over two-thirds of the region’s population reside in what is considered to be rural.
Since many of the rural communities in the Golden Crescent Region do not have access to medical care in their communities, they must depend on the health care facilities located in other non-urban cities in their county or rely on the medical facilities located in the city of Victoria for their health care needs. This need for medical transportation prompted the coordination of a comprehensive transportation program.
GCRPC has been providing Rural Transportation Services known as RTRANSIT since November 1986, over the years RTRANSIT has grown from providing services with only a hand full of vehicles to a fleet of 59 vehicles throughout the region. RTRANSIT provides curb-to-curb transportation service for the rural residents in Calhoun, Dewitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, and Victoria Counties. Residents access the system by calling RTRANSIT in their county a day in advance to schedule a ride.
The transit system offers residents transportation within their county and transportation to neighboring counties. In order to provide efficient transportation services in the over 6,000 square mile region, the Planning Commission contracts with six local providers.
Major funding for this program is provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) under the Section 5311 Grant Program. In addition, funding provided from the Department of Aging and Disability, Cities and Counties, as well as fare revenues help support the program.
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