North Texas Daily

DCTA implements bus route changes

DCTA implements bus route changes

DCTA implements bus route changes
March 27
16:38 2022

The Denton County Transportation Authority has implemented changes to certain bus routes, including timetable revisions and the addition and removal of some stops.

The changes were made on March 14. DCTA Director of Communications Pamela Burns said it will benefit students and faculty by reducing travel times, adding more stops and providing access to the Rayzor Ranch shopping area.

We are able to reduce the runtime by 10 minutes which will increase frequency with four additional trips per weekday from the A-train to the main campus,” Burns said. Several factors went into the decision to modify the bus routes. Changing ridership patterns as a result of COVID, workforce shortages and the introduction of GoZone have all contributed to the route modifications.” 

Routes 3 and 7 have both seen significant route path adjustments and increased numbers of round trips, and the change introduced a new Route 5, which includes six stops with a 30-minute frequency between trips.

Some students have instead experienced a negative effect on their daily commute after the changes were made. This includes computer science junior Kelsey Porter who said several of the stops she used previously were cut.

“I don’t feel like the route changes helped much in terms of round-trip times,” Porter said. “It’s made my daily travel times longer because I need to walk to this new farther away stop instead of getting on at the one that was closer.”

GoZone, an on-demand rideshare service that was implemented in September 2021, can be used to access destinations that were previously served by now-defunct Connect bus routes. GoZone operates seven days a week and is priced at $0.75 per ride. 

Porter said GoZone would not be a feasible option for her to access places the bus routes no longer cover, as she has had bad experiences with the program in the past. 

“I tried using GoZone a few times,” Porter said. “There was always over an hour wait for pickup and no ETA to my destination. If GoZone is supposed to be a replacement for the bus system, it’s a bad one. There’s no consistency and you can’t plan around it.”

Public health sophomore Anthony Amajor also agreed that DCTA should not continue to expand the use of GoZone due to pricing. 

“I normally use the Discovery Park routes and not Route 7 so my [bus] travel hadn’t been affected much at this time,” Amajor said. “I use the DCTA service very frequently and my experience has been OK on most days that I go. I say they should stick to the bus routes if other options would cost money to students.”

Burns said DCTA is conducting a service analysis to determine what the future system looks like and it will be seeking public feedback related to this effort in April. The recent changes are intended to be temporary while the DCTA board evaluates options and approves a final service plan integrating both fixed-route service and GoZone later this summer.

As of now, GoZone will continue to be supplemental to bus routes, Burns said. She said she believes the March changes have been beneficial to the agency and the greater community. 

“Since the changes were made, we have seen fewer delays and increased on-time performance for the bus network,” Burns said. “In addition, the agency’s overall ridership has increased to pre-pandemic levels through the combination of Connect and GoZone service.”

Featured Image: A DCTA bus stop sign stands on March 22, 2022. Photo by Lindy Jenkins

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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