One of the strategies identified in the 2011 Panhandle Regional Transportation Planning Plan to greatly improve access to public transportation in the Texas Panhandle is the establishment of a Voucher Program that will enable the elderly and disabled to ride with any transportation provider for any purpose at little or no cost. The Senior Ambassador’s Coalition (SAC) began a pilot Voucher Program in 2008 with $2,000 that has proven successful on a very small scale. PRPC assisted the Panhandle Regional Organization to Maximize Public Transportation (PROMPT) in securing funding through TXDOT’s Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) to further develop the SAC Voucher Program into a large scale regional program. PROMPT focuses on aligning all of the region's transportation infrastructure with population demands to establish economies of scale through the reduction of redundency in services.
PRPC is administering the RTAP program and working with PROMPT members and SAC to make the Voucher Program a success. The Voucher Program will allow elderly and disabled citizens who cannot secure ride assistance through other programs such as Medicaid to ride with any public transportation provider in the region to any destination including medical appointments, grocery shopping, and faith based gatherings. The RTAP has grown within the Regional Transportation Planning program into a subdivision of itself and will hopefully make public transportation more easily accessed by a large segment of the Panhandle’s population. PROMPT is currently working on a regional project to identify how school transportation resources throughout the region align with other available public transportation and to identify gaps where improvements maybe needed. The school transportation results are being tabulated and will be used to make educated planning easier going forward. PROMPT is also in the initial stages of a veterans transportation research project.