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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Hill Country Transit District (HCTD) operates the HOP, a regional public transit system that has grown from the transit service provided by HCTD in a nine-county area in Central Texas since the 1960s.  In the last decade, that service has seen significant change and growth.  The transit service still serves a large rural area, and the service has further evolved to include two Urban Divisions.  One Urban Division serves the Temple urbanized area, including Belton.  The other Urban Division serves the Killeen urbanized area, including Copperas Cove and Harker Heights.

 

The transit system, known as the HOP, regularly coordinates trips, often carrying passengers with disabilities via its Special Transit Service (STS) to Fixed Route Service (FRS) routes, thereby providing service to persons in rural areas and urban clients in the Killeen and Temple urbanized areas.  HCTD includes among its passengers clients of several social service agencies.

 

HCTD is governed by a Board of Directors that includes representation of each County served, and of each major city served.  Planning and support also comes from the following:

 

  • HCTD is a member of the Technical Committee of the Killeen-Temple Urban Transportation Study (KTUTS), which serves as the areaís Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO);
  • HCTD works closely with the Temple Transit Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the Temple City Council, and which includes representatives of the disabled community, as well as social service agencies;
  • HCTD meets with the Transportation Committee of the Killeen City Council to provide transit service and user information to the City of Killeen and its representatives.

 

HCTD encourages social service agencies and the general public to use the public transit system.  To the maximum extent possible, HCTD, serving as the regionís existing transportation provider, works to meet transportation requirements through use of the public transit system in several ways.

 

  1. The HOP encourages users and agencies to use fixed route service whenever possible;
  2. The HOP provides an easy means for agencies to purchase tokens, multi-ride tickets, and monthly passes for their clients for use on fixed route service;
  3. The HOP provides travel training for agencies and groups;
  4. Agencies and members of the general public can rely on the HOP as the existing transportation provider to continue to serve the area, merging rural and urban service.

 

This type of information is shared locally.  Route and service plans are reviewed with several local area committees and network groups, with input used to maximize the efficiency of transit service. 

Through cooperation and financial support of cities, businesses, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transit Administration, HCTD has more than 175 passenger shelters throughout the cities of Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton, and Temple.  This means well over 30% of all fixed route bus stops have passenger shelters installed for attractiveness, ease of identifying bus stops, protection from the weather, and passenger comfort.

 

 

The service the HOP provides has several aspects, such as:

 

  • Rural transit service is provided throughout the 9 county transit district;
  • Urban service is provided in the two urban centers of the district, with an emphasis on use of fixed route service;
  • Multiple program funds and revenue from service contracts are blended into one stream to serve both as direct funds and as matching funds for federal transit dollars;
  • HCTD has served for several years as the Medicaid service provider;
  • Several social service agencies purchase tickets, tokens, and passes from HCTD for their clients to use for boarding fixed route and special transit service vehicles to meet the transit needs of those agency clients;
  • HCTD serves as both the rural provider and the urban provider, operating services for rural trips, ADA complementary paratransit trips, and fixed route trips, thereby transcending service boundaries.

 

The HOP relies each operating year on funds that come from several sources, including:

 

  • Fares paid by passengers;
  • Funds from the Federal Transit Administration;
  • Transit funds from the Texas Department of Transportation;
  • Contract revenue earned for service provided to Medicaid clients, the elderly, students, and others;
  • Revenue from the sale of passes and tokens;
  • Contributions from the counties and cities served.