The Denton County Transportation Authority announced Friday that it is raising its GoZone fares and removing some underperforming Denton bus routes.
DCTA launched GoZone, an on-demand transit service that isn’t on fixed routes, in fall 2021. It started at a promotional rate of 75 cents per ride, but the fare prices will rise significantly on Jan. 1, 2023, according to a DCTA news release.
The base fare for GoZone service will go to $1.50 per ride, and GoZone riders in Denton will incur an additional 50 cents per mile charge for trips over four miles, with a fare cap of $5. GoZone riders in Lewisville and Highland Village will not have any per-mile charges.
“GoZone is a huge success story for DCTA,” said DCTA CEO Paul Cristina. “The service completed more than 620,000 rides in its first year, and we continue to serve about 70,000 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 in the new year is the removal of Denton Connect Bus Routes 2, 4 and 5 from regular service, due to low demand, according to DCTA. 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.
All of the service and fare changes were approved by the DCTA Board of Directors at its July 28 meeting, based on a data-driven study of ridership and operational efficiency.