The wallets of students using the Denton County Transportation Authority system will continue to see relief with the official approval of recent fee changes by DCTA board members.
The action finalized cheaper fares the agency has had in place since August to test their viability.
With the cheaper fares increasing ridership, the board gave the OK to keep the fares in place for good.
“We expect by reducing the prices of those fares we will continue to see an increase in sales, especially with the I-35E corridor construction,” said Kristina Brevard, vice president of marketing and communications.
Both the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transit Authority recently implemented a reduced college/trade school day pass that students can purchase on a daily basis, she said. DCTA officials held a series of meetings recently to gather input on two possible fare changes. One option would be to change to what DART and The T are doing and require riders to purchase passes daily. The other option would be to keep the current structure but reduce pricing of the student pass.
“The commuter students we spoke with preferred the current structure with the reduced pricing so they didn’t have to purchase a pass every day,” Brevard said.
The pass is slightly different but its price is comparable to what DCTA’s partners are doing, she added.
With the change, the student regional semester pass will cost $175, lower than the current fee of $250. The student regional summer pass will cost $150 as opposed to $160.
In other board news presented during the Thursday meeting, A-train ridership has increased 17 percent and Connect bus service ridership has increased 23 percent over same month last year.
DCTA saw an increase in ridership on the A-train during the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, and its highest ridership count on senior citizen days has topped 3,000.
The agency has also surpassed 3 million total passengers — bus and rail — this year.
DCTA also continues to partner with DART and The T in the promotion of GoPass, a new mobile ticketing application. The GoPass is the country’s first multi-agency mobile ticketing app. Since launching on Sept. 16, there have been more than 35,000 downloads.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter @BjlewisDRC.