Denton County Transportation Authority is creating a local government corporation called the North Texas Mobility Corp., which will allow the agency to become a broker of services for cities’ transportation needs.
DCTA CEO Raymond Suarez said the corporation will allow cities across North Texas to use DCTA’s services without having to become a member city. Member cities are required to contribute a portion of their sales tax to DCTA.
Through the corporation, cities can use other funds to contract with DCTA to get transportation services.
This move also protects the funds of DCTA’s three member cities—Lewisville, Denton and Highland Village—who dedicate a 1/2 cent sales tax.
“[NTMC] will allow us to take all those contracts and move them very cleanly to a nonprofit so we can separate the cost of the actual delivery of services from our member cities who are paying a full tax,” Suarez said.
Suarez said the corporation will also solicit proposals from firms or contractor teams to provide mobility services. The idea is to match those services with member cities, contract cities and large employment centers.
“I think this has the ability to really change the way people think about transit as a region,” Suarez said.
Using this structure, there will be more than 20 different mobility providers pre-approved and able to compete for contracts with cities.
The mobility providers range from bike share companies to autonomous vehicle providers.
“We can use these providers and have them sit down with a small city or an up-and-coming city that needs transportation, and we can customize their needs through North Texas Mobility Corp.,” he said.
Suarez said the corporation has some of the fundamentals of a private sector but is set up as a nonprofit.
“It’s not a transit authority, but it has some of the rights and protections of a transit authority,” he said. “And the Corp. may or can allow these cities [that are under contract]to have a board seat on North Texas Mobility Corp. So it has been formed by DCTA, but the membership can change over time to allow other cities to join it.”
Suarez said it is important to note the name of the corporation does not include Denton or Collin. That was done intentionally, he said.
“We really want to be a broker of services for all of the region and provide transit services to cities who may want contract services but can’t afford to pay a sales tax like our member cities,” he said.