Denton County Transportation Authority officials are inviting the public to join them Saturday as they celebrate two milestones — the integration of the A-train’s Stadler GTW rail vehicles and the initiation of midday rail service.
“It really says we are up and running with the system and have truly finished the project,” said DCTA President Jim Cline. “We see it as an opportunity … showing the community the A-train and everything that goes along with it.”
The celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Downtown Denton Transit Center. The event will feature free train rides, free hot dogs and ice cream, live music from The Pause Trophy and a model train exhibit from the Denton Area Model Railroad Club, according to marketing manager Kristina Brevard.
There will be a special-events A-train schedule for the day that can be found online at www.DCTA.net.
While the Stadler cars are in place now, schedule changes will occur Monday and include the long-awaited midday rail service as well as later hours for Friday night and Saturday service.
The Stadler cars and the midday rail service are great long-term moves for the transit agency, Cline said.
“I don’t have a number on what I expect the ridership to be, but we certainly expect an increase,” he said.
Schedule changes will benefit passengers in three main areas: Commuters will find it easier to get home in the middle of the day; students can attend class and then go home or to work; and recreational users can use the train to attend midday events.
“Other agencies who implemented this, [such as] the TRE [Trinity Railway Express], saw an increase,” Cline said. “We’re very optimistic and we’re looking forward to it.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
• Where: Downtown Denton Transit Center, 604 E. Hickory St.
• When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — free A-train service
• 11 to 11:15 a.m. — music by The Pause Trophy
• 11:20 to 11:45 a.m. — formal presentation
• 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. — music by The Pause Trophy