North Texas Daily

DCTA updates structure to simplify, encourage ridership

DCTA updates structure to simplify, encourage ridership

DCTA updates structure to simplify, encourage ridership
January 17
00:48 2019

The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) implemented a new fare and service structure on Jan. 14 in order to simplify and encourage ridership.

After holding a series of public meetings in September and November of last year, DCTA conducted strategic outreach in to inform riders of the new local fare structure proposal and received positive feedback, according to DCTA Communications Manager Adrienne Hamilton.

“The primary goals of our fare changes were to streamline our local fare structure for easier understandability and offer lower local fare options to encourage ridership on our system,” Hamilton said in an email.

Changes to the fare included the removal of all connect fares. Additionally, passengers will now be required to purchase Local AM/PM Passes instead of Connect Fares. Local Day, 31-Day and Annual Passes have been permanently lowered in cost.

“This will reduce the need for transfers and allow riders to have access to more DCTA services at a cheaper price,” Hamilton said.

DCTA is no longer providing free A-train rides for university students, which had been promoted since Aug. 2018.

Luz Vazquez, a bilingual education junior, said she takes the A-train to downtown Carrollton and then boards the Green Line to travel home to Dallas.

“For me, the change is inconvenient because I go home a lot,” Vazquez said. “Since it was only for a temporary amount of time, people were used to it. I told people I went to high school with that all you have to pay for is the connecting train.”

DCTA is retaining the University Pass program for local and regional routes, which is designed to provide cost savings for students.

“They already reduce the prices, but if you’re doing it constantly, it adds up it takes a toll on how much money you’re actually spending,” Vasquez said.

Vazquez said she would still ride the A-train regardless of the free ride promotion not being available any longer.

“It’s still probably the cheapest option,” Vazquez said. “You don’t have to deal with traffic, and there’s a set schedule so you know what time they’re supposed to come.”

In addition to the fare changes, the Saturday schedule for the Mean Green Night Rider and Discovery Park Campus Shuttles will become the current Sunday schedules. The route for Denton Connect Route 7 will now travel continuously down Hickory Street instead of stopping at multiple points. DCTA will also launch an on-demand bus service in the Lewisville area.

Vazquez, who has been utilizing the UNT shuttle buses since her freshman year, would like to see more stops added to the routes in the future.

“From stop A to stop B there’s a big distance,” Vazquez said. “It would give people in between stops a chance to catch the bus and not be late to class or get home late, especially now when it gets dark early.”

Trista Moxley, the senior communications specialist for Transportation Services, said UNT, in partnership with the DCTA, always evaluates options and works to meet the population’s changing needs.

Moxley wanted to remind students that buses in Denton are still free with their UNT ID.

“We want our students to be able to concentrate on their classes, not on worrying about how they’re getting back and forth,” Moxley said.

Featured Image: Starting Jan. 14, DCTA will switch to a system of AM/PM passes for its local bus routes. This will replace the Connect Fares. Photo by Trevor Seibert. 

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Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

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