A HOP bus departs the Walmart bus stop in Copperas Cove on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. The Coryell County Economic Development Board is looking at partnering with the HOP public transit system to open a bus route between Copperas Cove and Gatesville.

Killeen was awarded $400,715 in federal and state funds from the Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday.

Ken Roberts, TxDOT spokesman, said the funds are allocated for public transportation, which in Killeen is The HOP — a regional public transit system.

The Texas Transportation Commission awarded nearly $60 million in federal and state funds to enhance rural and urban mobility programs across the state. Funds totaling more than $1 million were awarded to Killeen, Temple and Waco.

Temple was awarded $248,340, and Waco received $616,555.

According to TxDOT, funding to enhance rural and urban mobility programs provide services to seniors, people with disabilities and other transit-dependent residents who rely on aid to get to work, school and health care facilities.

“We are pleased to support these services that enhance independence and quality of life for individuals who may otherwise be unable to travel,” said Joe Weber, TxDOT executive director. “Based on the statistics, there is an increasing demand for these types of mobility services and we are proud to work with our partners to meet this demand.”

According to TxDOT, more than 34 million trips were reported in 2013 by rural and urban mobility programs — a 4.7 percent increase from 2012.

Roberts said the funds also help address congestion relief in rapidly growing metropolitan areas by providing park-and-ride commuter services, vanpools and other transportation options for people who own vehicles but choose to commute via public transportation.

Contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7555

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