It may be late June, but Denton County Transportation Authority officials are looking ahead to two transit plans they hope will jell by August — travel application improvements and a football-related partnership with the University of North Texas.
Kristina Brevard, the agency’s vice president of marketing and communications, briefed DCTA board members Thursday on the impending release of a Where’s My Ride app. It will allow riders at a bus stop to use their smartphones to check the exact location of their bus.
Workers will be changing out bus signs, Brevard said, which will give each bus stop its own unique identification number. Riders will be able to input the number online and receive bus arrival information.
Future changes to the app will offer customization options such as rider alerts and the ability to schedule which days to receive alerts.
Brevard said staff will ramp up its online advertising at KRLD radio station and in local digital media in Denton and Lewisville. Digital media advertising is affordable and easy to keep track of its results in reaching viewers and potential customers, she said.
Service changes are set for Aug. 25 and staff is in the midst of reprinting bus and train schedules to reflect them. Those schedules are available on the train cars and in the buses. The agency makes changes to service in August and January based on rider feedback, ridership numbers and the overall agency budget outlook each year.
Football season will bring another promotion and partnership with DCTA, UNT and the Denton Convention and Visitor Bureau. The transit agency will offer a game-day shuttle to Apogee Stadium.
“The whole point is to make game day an experience,” Brevard said.
The shuttle will pick up riders at the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center and take them to the stadium with stops in between at shopping and restaurant areas.
The first of six UNT home games is against Southern Methodist University. DCTA staff are looking at ways to work with Dallas Area Rapid Transit on promotions and getting SMU fans to the game to help foster the rivalry.
“UNT has been such a great partner for us over the years. We’re always trying to find ways to improve service, which improves the relationship with UNT,” said DCTA board President Charles Emery. “We are always sensitive to their needs and TWU also. Student population is so important to our ridership. That’s one reason we are in business, to help Denton, to help UNT and TWU.”
DCTA officials also heard news about their impending move out of their headquarters building on the Interstate 35E frontage road in Lewisville. Anna Mosqueda, chief financial officer, said DCTA has to vacate because it’s selling the building to the Texas Department of Transportation for the next phase of I-35E expansion.
But instead of the original Aug. 11 date, DCTA has until September to move. The new headquarters will be on Lake Way Drive in Lewisville. Leasing documents are set to be signed by Monday and the agency will soon be receiving construction bids to make the building ready for operation.