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DCTA proposes to increase rates
Riders of the Denton County Transportation Authority's (DCTA) systems could see a fare increase in as little as three months, but before approving the changes, DCTA is hosting meetings to get public opinions on the changes.
DCTA will host three public meetings in October. The first will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main St., the second will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Highland Village Council Chamber, 1000 Highland Village Road and the third will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Downtown Denton Transit Center, 604 E. Hickory St. The proposed changes will affect both the regional and local fare system.
"Everything subject to board approval, but if the board approves the changes they will go into effect Jan. 14," said Dee Leggett, DCTA spokesperson. "It is possible that what we're presenting right now could be different from what we ultimately will present to the board. That's why the public process is so important."
The proposed changes to the local system include a $.40 increase to the local system two-hour reduced pass and an $8 increase to the monthly local system reduced pass. The local system two-hour pass will remain at $3, but previously the pass allowed for one hour of travel.
"We've doubled the time on this pass, and we believe it will allow for better travel for our riders," Leggett said. "Also, typically a reduced fare is half price of a base fare. Ours will still be below half the price of the regular fare, but with this, we're trying to recover cost."
Other fares that will have no price change include the local system day reduced pass, the local system day pass, the local system 10-day pass pack, the weekly local system pass, the monthly local system pass, the local system annual pass and the summer youth pass. In addition, the DCTA will offer a local system midday pass for $1.75.
"Previously, it didn't matter what time of day it was, the fare was the same. So, if you were traveling at peak times it cost the same as midday. We thought that when we have lighter ridership, why not offer a reduced fare to encourage ridership," Leggett said.
Midday service was implemented Aug. 20. Leggett said DCTA has seen an increase of 50 percent in ridership since it was implemented. On Thursday, DCTA carried almost 2,600 passengers, which is its largest ridership in one day.
The proposed changes to the regional system include a $.40 increase to the regional two-hour reduced pass, a $.50 increase to the regional reduced day pass, a $40 increase to the monthly regional pass, an $8 increase to the monthly regional reduced pass and a $400 increase to the regional annual pass. The regional two-hour pass will remain at $5.
"Currently, the two-hour pass is a one-way pass good for only 90 minutes. We're changing it to a one-way two-hour pass," Leggett said.
DCTA will also begin offering a Regional midday pass for $3.50 and a regional annual reduced pass for $480. There will be no change to the regional day pass, the regional 10-day pass pack or the weekly regional pass.
Local fares cover trips on the A-train between Trinity Mills, Lewisville and Denton; regional fares include trips on fixed route bus and rail services for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, DCTA, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and Trinity Railway Express.
Leggett said the proposed regional changes are designed to align DCTA with its regional transit partners, while local system changes are designed to encourage ridership between Carrollton, Lewisville and Denton, on the authority's system and during midday when ridership is typically lower.
Leggett also said that some of the changes are meant to better reflect industry standards.
"The older systems like DART and TRE felt that our regional rates needed to be adjusted to better reflect theirs," Leggett said. "We have a reciprocal fare agreement with DART and TRE that we must adhere to."
In December 2010, DCTA signed the reciprocal fare agreement with DART, TRE and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. It states that the agencies will honor each others regional passes and, in order to do so, have a similar fare structure.
Those not able to attend the public meetings may submit comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 972-221-4600.
For information visit www.dcta.net.
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