With 2.9 million riders in 2023, Denton County Transportation Authority experienced a record year and is operating back at its pre-pandemic numbers. The organization provides transportation throughout Denton County via rail and bus routes, rides for senior citizens and GoZone, its on-demand ridesharing service.

“We're really seeing the effectiveness of public transit in our communities that we serve,” said David Magaña, DCTA’s Director of Marketing and Communications.

By the numbers
  • Bus routes drew 77% more riders than the previous year.
  • GoZone ridership increased 38% from the previous year.
  • A-train ridership increased 28% from the previous year.
A closer look

By investing in increased frequency on key bus routes, DCTA provided more options for passengers, making transit more accessible.

“The more buses are available, the more buses will be ridden,” Magaña said. “That investment really has been good.”

DCTA discussed ending the bus service at the end of 2022 after a significant decrease in riders during the pandemic. However, these new numbers show DCTA’s bus routes are here to stay.

“We're proud of the fact that ridership has come back in a big way,” Magaña said. “It has shown itself to be a vibrant and critical part of the community.”

DCTA is also celebrating the success of GoZone. In 2023, the on-demand ridesharing service completed its one millionth ride after just 18 months of service. GoZone was originally planned to replace the bus system, but after seeing an increase in ridership, both services will continue to be available for Denton County residents.

“The Go Zone service is doing extremely well,” Magaña said. “The community has really taken to it and is using it very effectively.”

Residents in Lewisville and Highland Village have also benefited from GoZone this year, and ridership in the Lewisville area exceeded peak 2019 bus ridership by about 80%, Magaña said.

With the success of DCTA’s programs in 2023, the organization is excited about the future.

“We're looking forward to the new year and have a lot of ambitious plans coming up,” Magaña said.

Planning for the future

DCTA has several areas of focus for 2024.

Magaña said plans include:
  • a bus stop infrastructure planning effort,
  • exploring ways to enhance the customer experience,
  • providing rides to seniors in Allen and Fairview through a new Collin County rides program
  • and exploring the potential for transit-oriented development in Old Town Lewisville.
Magaña said DCTA is trying to optimize the services it currently provides to serve more people.

One example of this is in Denton where a number of GoZone riders could take a bus but are not utilizing that service.

“We're working on our intermediate service plan that [addresses] how to better mix the resources that we have in Denton,” Magaña said.

He said by studying the destinations and origins of GoZone riders, DCTA can adjust its service areas to provide rides for residents who don’t have another mode of transportation.

DCTA also plans to launch Collin County Rides in February of 2024, offering rides for senior and disabled residents in Allen and Fairview. Residents can request rides for work, to run errands or for medical visits. DCTA already offers this service in Frisco and McKinney. DCTA is taking over the service from DART, which has provided the service over the past few years.

Overall, DCTA is working to build a stronger transit network and regional connections for the benefit of the entire community.

“[Public] transit offers a great opportunity to cut your personal carbon emissions,” Magaña said. “It's very green. It saves money. It helps with building connectivity.”

To learn more about DCTA and how its services can benefit you, visit www.dcta.net.

The above story was produced by Multi-platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.