North Texas Daily

Bus service between Denton and Fort Worth could open in September

Bus service between Denton and Fort Worth could open in September

June 20
12:00 2016

Jessy Diamba | Staff Writer

@JessyDiamba

The Denton County Transportation Authority and Fort Worth Transportation Authority are joining forces this fall to offer new bus services between Denton and Fort Worth.

Scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 26, the newly proposed route would run on Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m, with a bus running every three hours. A trip from either location to the other is approximately 40 miles and would take between 80-90 minutes. This factors in a midway stop at the FWTA’s North Park and Ride lot, near where Interstate-35W crosses with Heritage Trace Parkway.

There have been seven proposed stops in total, not counting the midway pause at North Park and Ride, including three stops in Denton and four in Fort Worth. A 2016 Gillig 40’ low-floor commuter bus was chosen as the vehicle for use, which is powered by clean-burning natural gas.

Phil Dupler, a service planner for FWTA, said he is embracing the idea because his sister used to commute to UNT via bus.

“She rode a bus every day from [Fort Worth] to UNT and back,” Dupler said. “I was just a little kid, but I remember dropping her off at 6:30 in the morning, and she’d ride up there and be back at like 6:30 in the evening.”

The FWTA has a Major Service Change Policy, which states the company “is required to conduct equity analysis of effects of potential service changes and hold public meetings.”

The FWTA’s resulting analysis came out positive, and this week, they —as well as the DCTA— held public hearings in both Denton and Fort Worth for residents to obtain more information and ask questions about the service. Questions ranged from how each city would benefit from the new service to whether the Denton/Fort Worth route could expand to offer service directly to special events.

File

File Photo

Another resident wanted to know if the buses would be equipped with Wi-Fi for students to do classwork during the commute.

“It is being debated,” said Curvie Hawkins, assistant vice president of planning at the FWTA, though he also noted it would not be available on day one.

Possible connections to other DCTA services being discussed include the UNT Campus Shuttles, the DCTA’s Connect Route 6 to Texas Woman’s University, and Route 7 to the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center.

Denton commuters interested in using the service to Fort Worth would be able to park at Apogee Stadium. The FWTA also plans to work with UNT to advertise the new route to students and commuters once the fall semester begins.

All that is left between now and September is one last meeting with the FWTA’s board of directors, which will take place Aug. 22. The members will vote whether to approve the proposed route, though they had already approved the initial idea of connecting Denton and Fort Worth back in February.

The board will also vote on what the bus fare should be, since both organizations charge different fees for their passengers.

“We’ve wanted to get to Denton for a while,” Hawkins said. “We’ll be there by September.”

Featured Image: File Photo

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