DCTA hopes to launch SH 121 commuter bus service from Lewisville to McKinney

The Denton County Transportation Authority will hold a transportation forum Nov. 14 to gauge interest from municipalities and transportation authorities on a potential bus commuter service that would run from Old Town Lewisville to downtown McKinney with stops in Frisco, Plano and The Colony.

The DCTA commuter service along the SH 121/Sam Rayburn Tollway corridor would be called Route 70 and would be an approximately 40-minute, one-way commute from Lewisville to McKinney.

DCTA Communications Manager Adrienne Hamilton said the bus route would provide riders with a low-cost solution to get to work or entertainment districts.

“In the [SH 121] area there is access to approximately 160,0000 jobs along this corridor,” she said. “Folks that are working and don’t have a car, [this service] provides them with an low-cost option to get to and from work in a fast-growing corridor.”

Hamilton said the bus fare has not yet been decided.

DCTA is looking to partner with a ride-hailing company such as Uber or Lyft on this project to provide on-demand, first-and last-mile service within the drop-off and pick-up areas.

The proposed drop-off/pick-up locations include destination points in McKinney such as Medical City McKinney and Craig Ranch, Legacy West in Plano, Hall Park and The Star in Frisco, Grandscape in The Colony and Old Town Lewisville.

Hamilton said DCTA is hoping to see the project launch within the next two years.

“[The timeline] is dependent on stakeholder feedback and commitment from the different cities for us to move forward,” she said.

Hamilton said DCTA is looking for each city and transportation management authority, or TMA—which Frisco and Plano has—to commit to funding as well as having stops.

A TMA is a membership organization formed to provide a forum for employers, developers, building owners, local government representatives and others to work together to collectively establish policies, programs and services to address local transportation needs and air quality issues within a specified geographical area.

Hamilton said at this time the authority has no plans to fund the bus service through the one-half cent sales tax that it collects from the cities of Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village to fund its commuter rail service.

“We did submit an application for a Federal Transportation Administration grant,” Hamilton said. “This grant would help with a potential park-and-ride facility in McKinney, buses and any kind of matching funds to entities like the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and of course there would be contingency and different marketing things we would have to do there.”

If the proposal comes to fruition, Hamilton said DCTA would use its current bus fleet for the route with the long-term goal of having commuter coach vehicles.

“And these [coach buses] would have passenger amenities such as free wifi, the ability to plug in your phone or computer, things like that,” she said. “It would definitely be a comfortable ride.”

As cities and transportation authorities ponder on ways to help alleviate growing traffic counts, Hamilton said she believes this proposal will help.

“This is huge to sustain growth because we have some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation along this corridor, and with companies continuing to choose areas along this corridor to build their next headquarters or office it will just continue to grow,” she said. “And to really support jobs, economic development and things like that, this service is something that we think will be a great asset to many communities along [SH] 121. This will link major developments from McKinney to Old Town Lewisville.”
By Sherelle Black
Sherelle joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2014 as a reporter for the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake edition. She was promoted in 2015 to editor of the GCS edition. In August 2017, Sherelle became the editor of the Lewisville/Flower Mound/Highland Village edition. Sherelle covers transportation, economic development, education and features.


MOST RECENT

There were 175 active cases of COVID-19 in Frisco as of July 8, according to data from the city’s public health dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases, which is the highest number of active cases in Frisco in the last two weeks. (Community Impact staff)
Frisco reports 175 active cases of COVID-19

The average number of active cases between July 1-7 in Frisco was 156, according to city data. This case average the week before was 125 cases.

Early voting is underway in Collin County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: More than 20,000 Collin County residents cast ballots in the first week of early voting

As of July 7, 15,423 votes had been cast in person, and 5,173 mail-in ballots were received.

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

The following map shows UT Dallas student enrollment by country or origin. (Courtesy UT Dallas)
Federal order means thousands of UT Dallas exchange students must return to in-person learning this fall

International students are limited in the number of online classes they can take outside of a pandemic, but those restrictions were relaxed earlier this year when COVID-19 forced many universities to shut down.

Emler Swim School's Emler@Home curriculum features instructional videos for teaching children how to swim at home or in a local pool. (Courtesy Emler Swim School)
Emler Swim School offering online curriculum for children 10 and under

The program offers parents instructional videos for teaching children how to swim at home or in a local pool.

Frisco City Council unanimously approved a request for a new 7-Eleven convenience store to sell alcohol, as the store had previously done when it was a Shell station for 18 years. (Screenshot courtesy city of Frisco)
Frisco City Council OKs request for new 7-Eleven to sell beer, wine

Frisco City Council approved a request for a planned 7-Eleven convenience store to sell beer and wine, as the store had done when it was previously a Shell station for 18 years.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

chamber sign on building
Frisco Chamber of Commerce to livestream State of the City event

The Frisco Chamber of Commerce will offer a free, public livestream of its State of the City panel discussion set for July 14.

In addition to mini golf, the business offers an arcade, a laser maze and mini bowling. (Courtesy Monster Mini Golf)
Monster Mini Golf now offering bowling, mini golf, laser maze in Frisco

Monster Mini Golf opened last month on Preston Road.

blood donation
Frisco first responders square off in Battle of the Badges blood drive

The annual Frisco Battle of the Badges blood drive will be held July 17-18 at several locations in the city.

Construction on the $4.2 million project could begin as early as October 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Plan to widen Coit Road in North Frisco in the works

Construction on the $4.2 million project could begin as early as October 2021.