Denton County Transportation Authority board members recently approved a right of way agreement with city of Denton officials to install bus shelters at a number of Connect bus stops in the city.
DCTA officials are waiting for the agreement to be approved by the City Council so targeted stops can be upgraded with a bench, trash can and overhead covering for those waiting on the buses.
The agenda item is expected to be on a February City Council agenda.
“We’ve been working with the city of Denton in earnest over the last couple years to identify locations for additional passenger amenities, which right now we are focusing on bus shelters,” said Dee Leggett, DCTA vice president of communications and planning.
The agency installed 13 shelters in Lewisville in recent months and have 20 shelters to install in Denton.
“We need this agreement that would allow us to install and maintain the shelters, and make sure we recognize city right of way, city utilities and the city is protected as well,” she said.
Since DCTA can’t place a shelter at every stop, it has been prioritizing locations by first looking at how many passengers board at the stops. High-passenger stops are the first targeted, Leggett said.
Agency officials then look at pedestrian connectivity to the shelters such as sidewalks to make sure there is adequate accessibility for people with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. And then officials look at stops where they can install shelters and there is no need for additional sidewalk work.
“The next step is getting a contractor on board to do the installation. There is a 45-day procurement cycle for that. Installation should take 30 days. So hopefully in the next 90 days, we should see additional amenities out on our Connect routes,” Leggett said.
Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs said the biggest complaint from residents about using DCTA’s buses has been the lack of seating or protection from the elements at stops.
“Particularly in Denton, what I get complaints most on is the sun. A lot of these locations are not adjacent to a facility where they can get shade. You have people standing out in real serious heat and it makes it very uncomfortable,” Burroughs said. “Part of DCTA’s whole approach is to make travel a positive experience. I am really happy to hear DCTA’s progress in listening to this real concern of member cities and citizens who utilize the facilities and taking a big step to provide substantial shelter.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6889. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .