The Ark-Tex Council of Governments Rural Public Transit District (ATCOG RTD) was established in 1989 by the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Texas under House Bill 2588. The ATCOG RTD is a political subdivision of the State of Texas that provides and coordinates rural public transportation services within the boundaries of the Northeast Texas Counties of Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River and Titus. Being created under Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code, ATCOG RTD receives funding from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration as a “Rural Public Transportation Provider” and is responsible for supplying or contracting various types of transportation services and programs within the nine-county Rural Transit District.
The ATCOG RTD is governed by a five-member subcommittee of elected officials from the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments. This committee meets as necessary on the same mornings as the ATCOG Executive Board Meetings to set policies and procedures for the ATCOG RTD. The Transportation Committee also governs any major decisions or purchases and settles any complaints or grievances for the ATCOG RTD.
ATCOG RTD’s Rural Transportation Program is funded through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Section 5311 Rural Public Transportation Program. Funding for other aspects of the operations is through various TxDOT and FTA grants. Funding to replace and purchase vehicles is through the TxDOT and FTA Section 5309 Capital Replacement Program.
The ATCOG RTD holds title to a fleet of over sixty vehicles, including vans, small buses and one trolley replica. The vehicles are housed in the counties where they are operated.
Ark-Tex in-house staff developed a computerized Dispatch/Scheduling program which is utilized to dispatch and schedule the trips throughout the ATCOG region. I-pads were installed in the rural vehicles enabling schedules to be e-mailed to the drivers’ vehicles daily. The program allows for accurate tracking of trips for data reporting to the Texas Department of Transportation.
ATCOG RTD has a Regional Transportation Maintenance Facility located at 105 E. 5th Street in Mt. Pleasant. This facility is located in the center of the Rural Transit District and is the hub of all maintenance performed on the RTD fleet of vehicles. Routine maintenance is performed at this one-bay maintenance facility, and major repairs are placed out on bid through this facility to local vendors in all counties where the vehicles are assigned. This method creates less service downtime on the vehicles and creates a boost to the local economy in the counties where the vehicles are stationed. All vehicle maintenance and repairs are recorded in the Fleetwise computerized maintenance system, which generates reports and maintenance logs on each of the ATCOG TRAX vehicles. The ATCOG Regional Transportation Maintenance Facility is staffed by a Mechanic and a Transportation Specialist.
ATCOG TRAX Transportation Programs
All services, except the deviated fixed-route in Mt. Pleasant, are operated as demand response with 24 hour minimum notice of the trip required.