Guest blog by Sarah Ault, Denton County Transportation Authority Mobility Services Specialist
Over the last few weeks, we at DCTA have diligently reached out to the communities we serve about our proposed GoZone on-demand rideshare service that would replace the majority of our Denton and Lewisville Connect Bus fixed routes and current on-demand services.
GoZone is an on-demand rideshare service, powered by Via, where riders can travel within designated zones and will have the option to book their trip in real-time using a mobile application. If you haven’t heard about the proposed service yet, check out our recent blog below to learn more or visit the “How it Works” page at DCTAfeedback.net to see each of the proposed zones in detail.
We’re excited to see all the great questions coming from the community so far about our proposed GoZone service. Read on to see answers to some of the most popular questions we’ve received and how you can give your feedback about the proposed service.
How will GoZone impact current DCTA services?
Our proposed GoZone service will expand both service area and service hours, allowing for greater flexibility for our riders. The most significant change is the proposed GoZone will replace all fixed-route bus routes in Denton and Lewisville except for Denton Connect Routes 3 and 7. The DDTC Evening On-Demand Zone, Lewisville Lakeway Zone and the Highland Village Lyft Zone will also be replaced.
Once the service launches, we will conduct a six-month analysis of Route 3 and 7 ridership by operating these routes in parallel with our GoZone service to best determine which service meets the needs of our community.
We want to make this service change as smooth as possible for our passengers, which is why we will operate all existing fixed-route and zone services concurrent with GoZone service for the first two weeks after the launch of GoZone. In addition, there will be a widespread community education campaign on how to use the new service before it is launched so all passengers feel comfortable and confident in using the new service. View the complete service impact chart below or download it here. You can also share your thoughts about the GoZone service impacts on our “Ideas Wall” through June 25.
What happens if there are more riders than vehicles available?
Substantial analysis has gone into the service planning for the proposed GoZone service, including how many vehicles to provide in order to efficiently serve the community.
During periods of high demand, riders could have an increased wait time for their vehicle to arrive. The average wait time for GoZone will be 11 to 14 minutes from confirmation of the reservation to the time of pick-up from your requested location within the service zone.
A great advantage of this type of service is the ability to analyze data in real-time, including wait times, which allows us to quickly determine if more vehicles need to be added to the service. If ridership increases, and there are consistently higher wait times, more vehicles can be added (with board approval) to decrease wait times.
How will GoZone impact disabled riders?
One of the reasons we’re proposing the GoZone service is we recognize the benefits on-demand service can bring to persons with disabilities in the communities we serve, including greater scheduling flexibility and better mobility options.
During the GoZone Phase I launch, many of the on-demand fleet will be retrofit to accommodate a wheeled mobility device. Our current Access service will also operate during Phase I, giving persons with disabilities the option to decide whether they want to use the new GoZone service in real-time or our existing Access service by booking in advance.
Based on the success of Phase I, Phase IIA proposes that Via will provide DCTA’s door-to-door paratransit service for our ADA-qualified customers. It’s our commitment to serve persons with disabilities within our community and provide enough vehicles to enhance existing services. You can share your thoughts about GoZone accessibility on our “Ideas Wall.”
What happens to the DCTA passes I already purchased?
Our existing fare structure will remain in place and existing passes will be honored. DCTA will launch a fare promotion for the first six months of service to accommodate access to existing services as well as offer new GoZone one-ride credits.
We are currently conducting a Title VI fare and equity analysis in addition to collecting the community’s direct input to determine a permanent fare structure that will go into place six months after the service launches. Make your voice heard by visiting our Promotional Fare Forum where you can post your comments on fares and take our fare survey. Check out the proposed fare structure below.
Why aren’t the Lake Cities, Flower Mound and Corinth included in GoZone services?
Our proposed GoZone service area is based on our member cities of Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village, whose citizens voted in 2003 to dedicate a half-cent of their sales tax to fund DCTA services in their cities. You can learn more about our history and vision by visiting our “About DCTA” page.
We recognize other cities in Denton County might wish to have public transit in their community. We encourage citizens who want to have public transportation in their community to reach out to their city leaders and let them know the kind of services you are interested in having where you live.
Who do I contact if GoZone doesn’t serve my city?
For those that reside in our member cities of Denton, Highland Village and Lewisville, our GoZone interactive service map is a great, convenient way to express your interest in the proposed service areas. The map shows the borders of each zone and allows you to zoom in on specific areas within the map and leave comments or questions about those areas.
If you reside in a city that does not offer public transportation and want to learn more about how DCTA contracts with non-member cities, please contact us.
While our proposed GoZone service offers a wealth of benefits, we want to hear what you think about the service. Full details on the proposed service along with several ways to give your input can be found on dctafeedback.net, but if you want to provide quick, immediate feedback, take our survey. We can’t wait to hear from you and answer your questions about our proposed GoZone service!