DCTA's Positive Train Control Progress Report

May 16, 2018

DCTA is committed to rail safety and is working diligently to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) deadline of December 31, 2018. PTC was designed to prevent collisions and other incidents by automatically detecting and controlling the movement of trains.

After multiple attempts to find a financially viable solution to implement PTC with the input of outside consulting firms, DCTA decided to take a different approach. Critical to the success of DCTA’s new approach was the solicitation of industry feedback in the development of the technical approach to implement PTC, as well as seizing opportunities presented by the specific characteristics of the agency’s A-train system.

PTC Vendor Selection Process

Early 2015, DCTA invited vendors to learn the intricate details and specific needs of its rail operations.  During this time, the agency shared information about its unique A-train characteristics which include temporal separation of limited freight operations, a recently installed signal system, single track railroad with sidings, and an absence of Class I freight traffic through the corridor.

After many discussions, DCTA solicited vendor suggestions for the agency to implement PTC in a safe and timely manner. Based on industry and vendor input, the quickly developed a scope of work from what was learned from the industry input process. DCTA developed a scope of work that offered bidders the opportunity to compete fairly, which resulted in bidders having a good understanding of our requirements with few questions asked during the bidding process.

DCTA utilized a best value procurement process which included both capital and 10-year operating costs so that the agency had a true understanding of the long-term cost and operational impact of the various solutions.  As a result of the industry participation up front and the use of a best value procurement process, the procurement process went smoothly and we were able to award a contract within three months from the point of issuing the solicitation for bid.

Current Status of PTC Implementation

All wayside (signal) and onboard (on the car) equipment were installed by January 2018. Currently, DCTA is undergoing testing which began in March 2018 and is in preparatory mode for revenue service demonstration application with the FRA.

DCTA is the first public transit agency in Texas to begin testing on PTC. The agency is diligently working with the FRA to implement PTC within the federally mandated requirements, and is currently listed by the FRA as one of the top third of public transit agencies for PTC implementation progress.

A-train Service Modifications during PTC Testing

DCTA has identified temporary A-train service modifications in order to maintain the agency’s progress on Positive Train Control (PTC) testing. DCTA plans to suspend the last two trains on Friday evenings and the first train on Saturday mornings, effective May 18, to accommodate the required testing.

We encourage riders who typically utilize these specific A-train schedules make plans to board an alternate schedule. PTC testing will commence on Friday, May 18, 2018, and may continue through September 2018.

The following A-train schedules will be suspended until PTC testing is complete:

Friday A-train Cancellation

Train #Green Line (Departs)Trinity Mills StationHebron StationOld Town StationHV/LL StationMedPark StationDDTC (Arrives)
596410:24 p.m.10:30 p.m.10:35 p.m.10:40 p.m.10:46 p.m.10:57 p.m.

11:02 p.m.

 

Train #DDTC (Departs)MedPark StationHV/LL StationOld Town StationHebron StationTrinity Mills StationGreen Line (Departs)
596311:15 p.m.11:20 p.m.11:31 p.m.11:37 p.m.11:42 p.m.11:47 p.m.

11:59 p.m.*

 

Saturday A-train Cancellations

Train #Green Line (Arrives)Trinity Mills StationHebron StationOld Town StationHV/LL StationMedPark StationDDTC (Arrives)
5370---7:40 a.m.7:46 a.m.7:57 a.m.

8:02 a.m.

 

*Green Line train terminates before Buckner Station. Visit dart.org for the full DART schedule.

Riders who want to monitor A-train schedule updates, sign up for our Rider Alerts. To view A-train schedules in real time, learn more about DCTA’s Transit Tracker and download the Transit mobile application, click here.

PTC Implementation Next Steps and Estimated Completion

  • Wayside (Signal Testing) – Ongoing with an estimated completion by June 15, 2018
  • Dynamic Testing (Car Testing) – Expected to start June 15, 2018, and expected to finish by July 15, 2018
  • Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) application by June 15, 2018
  • Expected RSD approval by the FRA by August 15, 2018
  • RSD slated to start by September 1, 2018
  • RSD slated to be complete by December 1, 2018
  • Revenue service expected to begin no later than December 31, 2018

*All completion dates are dependent on several factors, including: FRA approval, required testing completions and many other factors that directly or indirectly effect the completion dates. DCTA is working diligently to meet all testing completion dates.*

DCTA Campus Shuttle Service 2018 Summer Schedule

May 02, 2018

The University of North Texas (UNT) and North Central Texas College (NCTC) Campus Shuttles will operate on a different schedule during the Maymester and summer months. Below are more details for both campus shuttle services:

NCTC Campus Shuttle

The NCTC Campus Shuttle will operate service during the Maymester (May 14 through June 1). Starting Monday, June 4, the campus shuttles will operate on a summer schedule Monday through Thursday (with no Friday service) through Friday, August 10. The shuttle schedule will remain the same as during the regular school year, except there will be no shuttle service on Fridays.

In August, the shuttle will not operating from August 13 to August 24. Regular NCTC Campus Shuttle service will resume for the fall 2018 semester which begins on Monday, August 27.

UNT Campus Shuttle

All UNT Campus Shuttles, except for Eagle Point, will operate during Maymester (Monday, May 14 through Friday, June 1) and throughout the summer (Monday, June 4 through Friday, August 10). The campus shuttles will operate Monday through Friday only (no Saturday service). Service will begin at approximately 7:30 a.m. and end at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Below are service frequencies for each shuttle:

  • Discovery Park will run every 20 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and then run every 40 minutes from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Mean Green will run every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and then run every 30 minutes from 5:30 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. (7:00 p.m. in Maymester)
  • Bernard Street will run approximately every 20 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • North Texan will run approximately every 20 minutes from 7:30 am to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sam Bass will run approximately every 30 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Centre Place will run every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and then run every 30 minutes from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Colorado Express will run approximately every 50 minutes

Regular UNT Campus Shuttle service will resume Monday, August 13.

If passengers have questions about DCTA Campus Shuttle service during the summer months, please visit transportation.unt.edu/transit or nctc.org.

DCTA Brownfield Remediation Project

Mar 21, 2018

In May 2017, DCTA was selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization efforts. The agency received one hazardous substance grant and one petroleum grant, totaling $178,200 in funding.

The grants will be used for environmental assessment at a site on State Highway 121 in Lewisville, Texas. Activities will focus on a vacant tract of 46 acres formerly used as farm land, a gravel mine, a junkyard and a landfill. These initial steps towards redeveloping vacant and unused properties help transform the sites to productive reuse, benefiting the community and the local economy.

About the EPA Brownfield Project

EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented program that has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.

Learn more about the program here.

Promotional A-train Free Fare Zones

Sep 27, 2017

DCTA launched new promotional “free fare” zones along the A-train commuter rail line in an effort to support riders and their travel behaviors. The rail line between the Downtown Denton Transit Center and the MedPark Station, as well as between the Hebron Station and the Trinity Mills Station, no longer requires a paid fare. The area between the MedPark Station and the Hebron Station is the new DCTA fare enforcement zone where passengers will need to have a local or regional pass to ride.

The A-train free fare zones is a promotion only and not an official fare change. DCTA fare prices have remained the same where the appropriate fare media is required. The new promotion is a part of DCTA’s ongoing strategic efforts to provide passengers with both local and regional mobility solutions.

Listed below are specific rider benefits for the new promotional A-train free fare zones:

  • University of North Texas (UNT) students will now have the option to park at MedPark Station and take the Colorado Express shuttle directly to the campus, or ride the A-train to the Downtown Denton Transit Center and board Denton Connect Routes 7 or 8 directly to the campus.
  • Riders who want to travel to the Dallas Area Rapid Green (DART) Green Line from DCTA’s Hebron Station now can do so at no cost. Passengers transferring to the DART Green Line will still need to purchase DART local fare.
  • People who travel to downtown Denton can utilize this promotion to park at MedPark Station and ride the A-train to get into the downtown area to avoid parking hassles.

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