Have you ever needed to know the best tips for first-time riders? Not sure how to use our GORequest system? Now you can #AskDCTA! In our monthly blog content series, our customer service team answers frequently-asked rider questions to better engage with our riders and improve their experience when riding DCTA.
For the month of December, Samantha Balderas – Customer Communications Specialist – shared some inclement weather safety tips to help you take winter by storm!
- Does DCTA Operate during Winter Weather?
Yes! The severity of the weather will dictate the level of service provided. Our Operations team closely monitors and evaluates inclement weather conditions throughout DCTA’s system. Safety is our top priority during a winter weather event. The operations team will take action if they see that a situation is potentially unsafe for passengers, operators, and vehicles.
In most instances of freezing rain or ice, we will run regular schedules for our services. However, passengers may experience delays throughout the day. If the weather is more severe, we will operate a Saturday schedule for services. We may consider a partial or full suspension of service if freezing rain or ice make it unsafe for our operators and passengers to be out on the roads. In the event of service suspension, we will coordinate messaging with our regional public transit partners.
Any time severe weather hits, delays should be expected throughout the day. It’s important to always be prepared for inclement weather during your commute with DCTA. Passengers should also note that during these times the Transit Tracker may not provide accurate arrival time information for DCTA vehicles.
- How Can I Prepare for Winter Weather while Riding DCTA?
Sign up for our Rider Alerts! These alerts are a great way to stay updated for any DCTA reroutes, service delays, detours, and more. They are completely customizable with key features including:
- Flexibility – Users can select specific DCTA services, routes, etc. in their subscription
- Details – Users can choose from an extensive topic list to meet their personal travel needs
- Customization – Users can choose Rider Alert delivery preferences including instant, daily or weekly communications
- Major Service Suspension Notifications – Users can receive text message notifications for lengthy service suspension announcements
Know Your Service
Inclement weather can cause major delays throughout our system. It’s important to be familiar with your surroundings as well as our services. Make sure you have our system map and route guides readily available to you in case a major service delay occurs. If your usual route is suspended or delayed, it’s helpful to know an alternate route that can get you to your desired destination!
Dress for the Season
Don’t forget to bundle up! Wear extra layers to keep you warm as you wait at the bus stop or A-train platform. This includes a scarf, gloves, and a heavy jacket. Make sure you wear light-colored clothing to make yourself more visible to our operators. Always wear closed toed shoes such as boots! For more winter attire tips, check out our winter must-haves blog post!
Be Extra Cautious
Riders are encouraged to be careful when walking through the train station parking lots, sidewalks, and on platforms. Wait in a clear area to make sure you are visible in the dark winter mornings and evenings. Do not stand too close to the curb as the bus approaches the stop. Snow and ice may cause the bus to slide as it comes to a complete stop. Board the vehicle carefully and try to shake off any excess water or snow to help prevent slippery floors on the bus and A-train. Lastly, be extra careful when exiting the vehicle as the train platform or street may be slippery.
- How Does DCTA Prepare for Snow and Ice?
Our staff treats the public areas around the Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC), including the rail platforms and bus stops, in the bus transfer lane. Although these areas are treated for icy conditions, we still encourage riders to be aware of slippery areas when walking to the platform or bus stops. Our operators are also issued ice cleats for walking. We highly recommend them for passengers when walking on ice!
We hope Samantha helped answer all of your questions about our winter weather preparation!
Have another question you want our customer service team to answer? Here’s how you can submit them:
Send your feedback via our GORequest online customer service tool and choose the menu option “#AskDCTA Series”
- Post your question on our Twitter or Facebook page (be sure to use #AskDCTA)
- Drop a note in the comments section on our Hop on Board blog.
While we can’t guarantee that every question submitted will be answered, we will consider all inquiries and will feature questions that will greatly benefit the majority of our riders!