After many months of continued success in public transit, the Denton County Transportation Authority is making a few changes to some of their services starting Jan. 1. The included changes will pertain to the GoZone service as well as some of their Connect bus routes in the City of Denton.
GoZone is a tech-enabled, shared, public transportation service that lives in the space between traditional fixed-route transit and ride-hailing technology providing service using “virtual bus stops” in smaller shared vehicles that launched in September 2021. Previously, the rides only cost $0.75, but starting in the new year, the base fare for a ride will cost $1.50 per trip.
"It's similar to Uber or Lyft, but it's still public transit. There are some differences. It's not going to pick you up at your door and drop you off at the door of a location. You're going to have to walk a little ways to meet your ride. You're going to have to wait a little bit longer," said Brittney Farr, senior director of engagement and administration. “There are some trade offs for getting a public transit version of an on demand service. But we still think it's priced in a way that is affordable.”
In addition to $1.50 per trip base fare, GoZone trips within the Denton Zone will cost an extra $0.50 per mile for any ride longer than four miles, but will still be capped at $5. Trips within the Lewisville/Highland Village Zone will not incur the per mileage charge.
GoZone fares will now be separated from the traditional AM/PM/Day/Month and Annual Passes. Users must order a GoZone trip separately either through the app on their phone or by calling customer service. Customers who are eligible for reduced fare, such as those who are 65 and older, children who are between the ages of 5 and 18 or an ADA paratransit customer, as well as customers who purchase passes through the DCTA Employer Pass Program or Nonprofit Pass Program will be able to purchase passes that are eligible on GoZone.
The other major change that will be happening at the start of 2023 is the discontinuation of three routes served by the DCTA Connected Bus Service. Routes 2, 4 and 5 will no longer be in service starting on Jan. 1, while routes 3, 6 and 7 will still be servicing passengers with some added modifications. Route 3 is being extended to serve the new Our Daily Bread facility, while routes 6 and 7 are getting additional frequency added to the schedule, meaning the bus will come more often.
“They're keeping routes three, six and seven because they have met that minimum threshold of the amount of passengers they're carrying,” Farr said. “In some instances, like on route 6 and 7, they're carrying so many people that the board made the decision to add frequency so those buses are actually going to start running more frequently than they used to and have some extended service.”
For those interested in using GoZone, riders can learn more about it here and more information about the bus routes can be found here.
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