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Ridership increases for DCTA, A-train over last three months
Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer
The 2013 fiscal year figures released by the Denton County Transportation Authority shows that ridership has increased, particularly with the A-train service. Compared to last year’s January figures, 43 percent more passengers rode the A-train from October 2012 to December 2012.
The increased ridership stems from recent service changes such as the addition of a midday rail service and the supplementation of a weekday evening southbound A-train departure geared towards late night university and work force passengers. The addition of a Friday and Saturday night departure helped boost those numbers, said Kristina Brevard, DCTA Marketing and Communications Manager.
“Our recent changes were in direct response to customer feedback,” said Jim Cline, DCTA President. “Clearly, our customers have responded positively to these changes. As we plan for the next stages of service improvements, we are excited about what the future holds.”
The DCTA annually gives 3 million rides to passengers and also experienced a 3 percent increase in ridership from October 2012 to December 2012 when compared to the 2011 statistics.
The addition of the midday service conveniences pedestrians because they can now run quick errands without the risks of becoming stranded in between routes, Cline said.
Since 2003, the DCTA has never had a decrease in ridership with either the bus service or with the A-train services since 2011.
The DCTA is also preparing for the future with mobile ticketing through a smart phone app opposed to buying tickets at the stations by starting a “Where’s My Ride?” app that uses GPS to locate the trains and estimate how long till their arrival.
Cline says DCTA is hoping to get both programs launched within the next year.
English freshman Sarah Woods said that the DCTA A-Train saves her money that she would have spent on gas during commutes to campus.
“The A-train here is really nice and it’s quick, you don’t have to drive and it saves gas,” said Woods, who began commuting twice a month from Rowlett.
“With gas prices going up I try to take the train more often. I only have to fill up once a week now,” said accounting junior Lizzi Whitmer, who began riding the A-train twice a week from Lewisville six months ago.
On Jan. 14 of this year, the new DCTA ridership costs became active after the board of directors approved an increase in costs back in October. Monthly passes jumped from $120 to $160.
Vice President of Program Development Dee Leggett said additional increases in costs aren’t expected.
To view DCTA fare rates and A-train and bus route schedules visit dcta.net.