Transportation authority seeks to offer customers more frequent bus trips
The Denton County Transportation Authority is planning to bring bus and rail customers faster service in January.
At the monthly meeting Thursday, staff members will give the board an update on the proposed budget, fare increases and service changes that will offer more frequent bus trips on select routes and another evening northbound A-train trip.
“We’re really focused on improving the frequency on the buses,” said Dee Leggett, vice president of communications and planning.
While in August the focus was on adding midday rail service and tweaking Friday night and weekend service to better meet the demands, the next changes call for increasing bus services in Denton and Lewisville.
In Lewisville the change will largely increase the frequency of buses on one route taking it from an hour to 35 minutes. In Denton there are still two routes with a wait time of a little more than an hour.
The long-term goal, Leggett said, is to get every route to a 30-minute frequency.
The agency will also extend Route 1 to the Unicorn Lake area to better serve the Denton State Supported Living Center and businesses around that part of the city.
“When we did the community survey, that was the main area at the top for service that didn’t have it,” Leggett said. “We currently have people who walk a pretty good distance from our closet stop to get to the [living center]. We think we can accommodate them. Or at least get them closer than they are today.”
Other additions include a slight modification with the Med Park Station that will help employees of Sally Beauty Supply, Leggett said.
Some changes to Route 3 should help those who need to go to the Denton County Administrative Complex, where the county health department is located, on Loop 288.
DCTA also is proposing an improvement to Route 4 to better support the nonprofit organization Serve Denton and the other social service agencies that will move out into the joint facility Serve Denton is building.
On the A-train, Leggett noted a proposed northbound trip from the Trinity Mills Station.
“There’s a gap from 6:40 p.m. to 8 p.m. where we don’t have a northbound departure. We’re going to shift some trains around so we have a 7:30 p.m. departure from Trinity Mills.”
Board members will also receive an update on the proposed A-train fare changes to stay in line with the fares Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Forth Worth Transportation Authority will offer for regional service.
“The board will be briefed on what will be discussed at public meetings in October. This whole seamless regional system is very important,” DCTA president Jim Cline said. “We need to get public feedback on it before we can make a decision. That’s the message to the board this week.”
Cline stressed that the proposed budget recommendation is not contingent on raising the regional fares.
“It is not pre-ordained that it will pass,” he said. “I think that is important for credibility with the public.”
The board will also spend the afternoon work session before the regular meeting going over the upcoming fiscal year’s proposed budget, which includes $22 million in operating expenses, $21.4 million in capital expenses and $4.03 million in operating revenues for the agency.
The board meets at 3 p.m. Thursday at the DCTA office, 1660 S. Interstate 35E, Suite 250, in Lewisville.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .