The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) is in the process of implementing service enhancements to improve both bus and rail operations. These changes will be effective August 20, 2012, and are part of the regularly planned changes that occur in August and January of each year. The timing of the changes coincides with the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. This provides a degree of certainty to our riders by minimizing turbulence in scheduling.
The most significant change will be the implementation of mid-day rail service. This has been the top request from our riders. This service will replace the station shuttle bus, and will significantly reduce the travel time from Downtown Denton to Trinity Mills. While there will be fewer trains in the future than buses now, the travel time savings (37 minutes vs. 64 minutes) will be a significant advantage. There are three target markets for this service. The first will be students who compress their classes into the morning or the afternoon. The second will be work commuters who need a better alternative to be able to return home mid-day in the case of a sick child or even better an unexpected afternoon off! The third group is either recreational users or work travelers using the train to attend a meeting during the middle of the day or maybe to go to lunch on Industrial Street or on the Square. Modifications to the bus schedules will also be made to better match the bus system with the rail system with a minimum of impacts.
Programmed into the proposed FY13 budget is the addition of 32 revenue hours per day of bus service in January 2013. This is the equivalent of adding two buses onto the system. While this will not get us all the way to our goal of 30 minute headways, it moves us as far as we can with our existing fleet.
We are very focused on rider input, and we are in the process of developing the January schedule changes (even before we can implement the August changes!). We will be conducting public input sessions in September. Please come out to let us know what you think. We know there are some gaps in our bus system (additional bus frequency, extensions to the bus system) and with our train system (additional train service to better address the evening commute from 6:48pm to 8:04pm and addressing riders with classes ending at 9:00pm). Riders also can provide initial feedback on changes made in August. Meeting dates/locations are as follows can be found on our online event calendar.
We strive for a balance system that best serves our entire rider population. We understand that the service we provide can always be improved. Your input will continue to improve the DCTA system we are all so proud of.