Denton County Transportation Authority customers are set to see a bump in some local and regional fares.
Fare increases were recommended to keep up with fare changes at Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T), with which the DCTA is in a partnership. Fare changes will be effective Jan. 14, though no changes will be made to Connect, Connect RSVP or Access fares.
“We did have three public meetings on this, receiving feedback and through social media. While [transit users] certainly don’t like the increase in fares, they do value the importance of the regional system,” said Jim Cline, DCTA president.
One of the new initiatives will allow passengers on DCTA’s local system to buy a two-hour pass instead of a one-way pass, allowing unlimited travel during that two-hour period. DCTA also is implementing a midday pass to encourage travel during that time. This new pass is valid for unlimited travel from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a weekday.
Those two new passes are valid on the A-train, Connect bus service, Connect RSVP and UNT Shuttle, and are only available from ticket vending machines at the five A-train stations.
Cline said the two-hour pass does two things. It gives riders more options over the shorter time of the one-way passes, and it helps standardize the passes alongside DCTA’s transit partners.
“When we look at what DART and the T are doing, it makes it easy for everyone to understand and build that picture of a seamless transit system,” Cline said.
Passengers regularly traveling the regional system will see an increase in the monthly and annual regional day pass retail rate. DCTA officials are touting the benefits of the university pass program or DCTA bulk pass program, as rates within those programs will not increase in 2013.
The 2013 fare structure also will implement changes to the reduced fares available for seniors over the age of 65, the disabled, Medicare cardholders and children. A new reduced annual pass will be offered in addition to slightly higher reduced fares on the local and regional systems.
“We do think we have a good balance to address keeping the solid, seamless system and at the same time providing new options and sustaining the old options to serve our citizens,” Cline said.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
CHANGES TO DCTA FARES
Effective Jan. 14
Local system two-hour pass
Local system two-hour pass reduced
Local system day pass
Local system day pass reduced
Local system midday pass
Local system day pass 10-pack
Local system weekly pass
Local system monthly pass
Local system monthly pass reduced
Local system annual pass
Summer youth pass
Regional two-hour pass
Regional two-hour pass reduced
Regional day pass
Regional day pass reduced
Regional midday pass
Regional day pass 10-pack
Regional weekly pass
Regional monthly pass
Regional monthly pass reduced
Regional annual pass
Regional annual pass reduced
SOURCE: Denton County Transportation Authority