CARTS providing on-demand rides to Bastrop residents, looking to expand to other rural areas

Bastrop County

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Starting Monday, people who need a ride in Bastrop can get one thanks to CARTS.

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System is using a $300,000 grant to address micro-mobility in Bastrop with its CARTS Now on-demand service, and three vans are in service and they promise to pick up riders within 15 minutes of when they call for a ride.

“We really believe this is the future of the way we serve people in town and provide more service out in the country where it’s difficult to serve,” said Dave Marsh, general manager of CARTS.

Any ride within Bastrop costs just $2, and there are discounts for those older than 65 and people with disabilities. The service operates Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for local rides (around Bastrop) and it also provides rides to Austin for $6. It’ll take you to Elgin on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for $4, too.

“Public transit for our citizens is extraordinarily important because we have public transit dependents that need to access goods and services,” said Bastrop Mayor Pro Tem Lyle Nelson, “but we also want the choice riders, the people who choose to ride transit, to park their vehicle or not even utilize their vehicles to get to jobs, to shopping, to a medical facility, and other such locations.”

Folks who need a ride simply use a smartphone app to call or a ride, like many do with rideshare services, and a CARTS van will come pick you up within 15 minutes.

The service is aiming to help people in rural areas get around a nine-county span around Austin, and Marsh says its next expansion is going to be in rural Williamson County, based in Taylor. They also have an electric cab service they are also looking to expand.

In addition to the on-demand smartphone app, CARTS runs on a schedule a lot like public transit in urban areas. Their schedule is on their website, and CARTS customer service can be reached at 512-478-RIDE (7433).

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