The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) is updating its fare and service models effective January 1, 2023, as part of its mission to better meet the transportation needs of Denton County. Among the major changes coming are the implementation of regular pricing for DCTA’s popular GoZone on-demand rideshare service, and the elimination of three underperforming Connect Bus routes within the city of Denton.
Starting next month, the base fare for GoZone service goes to $1.50 per ride, marking the end of promotional pricing. In addition, GoZone riders in Denton will incur an additional $0.50 cents per mile charge for trips over four miles, with a fare cap of $5. GoZone riders in Lewisville and Highland Village will pay the base fare of $1.50 per ride with no per mile charges.
“GoZone is a huge success story for DCTA,” said Paul Cristina, DCTA Chief Executive Officer. “The service completed more than 620-thousand rides in its first year, and we continue to serve about 70-thousand riders a month, so we are very pleased with the way DCTA customers are using the service.”
GoZone, powered by Via, provides riders convenient vehicle transportation for trips across designated zones in Denton County. The on-demand service uses a mobile app in which passengers book their trips in real-time, and a dedicated fleet of branded vans to pick up and drop off riders at virtual stops within the zones. GoZone service launched in September 2021 with promotional pricing at $0.75 cents per ride.
“The popularity of GoZone is not only giving our customers better and more personal transit options, it has also prompted us to look at the impacts on our other offerings,” said Mr. Cristina. “In layering an on-call rideshare service over existing bus operations, we knew we would need to examine how the services interact and affect ridership, and then make changes needed to ensure efficient operations across the entire DCTA system.”
The other major change coming to DCTA riders is the removal of Denton Connect Bus Routes 2, 4 and 5 from regular service due to low demand. Connect Bus Routes 3, 6 and 7 will continue their operations with increased frequencies and service hours added on Routes 6 and 7. Connect Bus is a local, fixed-route service providing riders in Denton with easy access to many popular destinations within the city, as well as access to A-train commuter rail line.
DCTA also serves the University of North Texas (UNT) by operating UNT Campus Shuttle bus service throughout the UNT campus and off campus student-oriented housing. The UNT Campus Shuttle is free for UNT students with a valid student ID, and is also available to all DCTA riders.
Starting with the new year, DCTA customers will also notice new fare cards with simpler designs and streamlined choices, making it easier for customers to select the DCTA passes they need. For GoZone service, riders, including UNT students, must purchase rides separately through the app or by calling customer service. Certain qualifying riders may be eligible for GoZone passes. Learn more by visiting www.ridedcta.net/service-updates.
All of the service and fare changes were approved by the DCTA Board of Directors at its July 28, 2022 meeting, based on a data-driven study of ridership and operational efficiency.