The Coppell City Council on Tuesday approved a contract renewal with SPAN for transportation services for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The Denton County-based organization provides transportation and meal delivery services to individuals with disabilities, seniors and veterans.
In 2016 SPAN partnered with Coppell and Metrocrest Services to provide transportation to Coppell residents in both Dallas and Denton counties.
Diane Beck, mobility manager for SPAN, told the council that while riders will continue to pay $3 per trip, the city will not have to pay for the service in fiscal year 2022 since all trips will be fully covered by the CARES Act funding. In previous years the service has cost the city $16,000.
SPAN’s service area in and around Coppell extends to Las Colinas to the south, Grapevine Mills Mall to the west, Interstate 35E to the east and the Music City Mall in Lewisville to the north.
Beck said the average number of rides in Coppell was 102 in fiscal year 2018, followed by 122 in 2019 and 48 in 2020, a drop because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beck said the biggest use of SPAN is for education needs at 65 percent, followed by medical at 19 percent, shopping at 10 percent, and life skills and vocational skills training at 7 percent.
“I appreciate SPAN working with the city of Coppell over the years,” Mayor Wes Mays said to Beck. “I remember back when we first started doing this through Metrocrest we had a lot of discussion on the boundaries and where we were going to serve. And you guys greatly expanded your boundaries to serve our citizens, and that’s remained constant. I certainly appreciate the services you’ve given our services.”
Beck said because of the pandemic SPAN is taking extra safety precautions, such as fogging the vehicles and requiring masks for drivers and passengers. Other efforts include providing hand sanitizer and encouraging social distancing. Riders are screened before being allowed on the bus.
In addition to transportation and Meals on Wheels services, SPAN worked with Denton County Judge Andy Eads and the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) to take seniors to Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year for a mass vaccination clinic.