The new year provides us all with a chance to reset and identify new goals to achieve to bring about positive changes and prosperity. For us at the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), we’re excited to kick off the year with a new, permanent local fare structure that will greatly benefit our stakeholders and riders effective Monday, January 14.
We didn’t take this new local fare structure lightly! Last September and November 2018, DCTA held a series of public meetings to garner feedback from the community regarding the recommended fare structure modifications, and agency staff conducted strategic passenger outreach in November 2018 to inform riders of the proposed new local fare structure. The results from these public meetings and rider outreach were presented and approved by our board of directors in December 2018.
At DCTA, we strive to create a fair and equitable fare structure for all public transportation services operated by our agency, and plan for our new lower fare options to continue to encourage ridership on our system.
Simpler Local Fare Structure to Enhance Rider Experience
We closely evaluated our current fares and confirmed that we needed an easier fare structure that would provide riders with a seamless integration within the regional fare system. Our primary goals of our fare changes are to streamline DCTA’s fare structure for easier understandability, offer lower local fare options to encourage ridership on our system and provide regional fare consistency with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Trinity Metro by aligning DCTA with its regional transit partners.
To simplify our fare structure, Connect fares will be removed, and passengers can purchase a Local AM and PM fare for a similar price with the added benefit of access to the A-train as well as Connect. This will reduce the need for transfers and allow riders to have access to more DCTA services at a cheaper price. Below is an overview of key elements of DCTA’s new fare structure:
- Removal of the 2-Hour and Mid-Day Pass (Regional and Local)
- Addition of the Local AM/PM Pass (A.M. pass good from start of service to noon; PM pass good from noon to the end of service)
- Removal of the Regional 7-Day Pass
- Removal of the Local Summer Youth Pass
- Removal of all Connect fares
- Removal of all Transfer/Buy-Ups
- No changes to reduced rider eligibility
- No changes to the Group Discount Program pricing
- No changes to the University Pass Program
- No changes to the Non-Profit Discount Program pricing for non-profits, social service agencies, and special groups
Lower Ticket Options to Keep Public Transit Affordable
Last August 2018, we launched a Local Fare Promotion to encourage ridership and offset the recent increase in regional fares. With the positive responses w received, our board of directors approved to make the current fare prices in this promotion permanent. Key permanent DCTA local fare highlights include the Local Day Pass priced at $3 (was $6 before Local Fare Promotion), Local 31-Day Pass priced at $48 (was $90 before Local Fare Promotion) and the Local Annual Pass priced at $480 (was $650 before Local Fare Promotion).
With these fare changes in place, we expect to see a positive impact on ridership due to improved system accessibility in the upcoming year.