After a year of celebrating flexible, reliable transportation, the Denton County Transportation Authority GoZone service continues to use technology as a way to connect more riders with public transit.
GoZone is a tech-enabled, shared, public transportation service that lives in the space between traditional fixed-route transit and ride-hailing technology providing curb to curb service using “virtual bus stops” in smaller shared vehicles. The vehicles can carry up to five passengers and use AI-based algorithms from a software provider to group passengers who are headed in the same direction. Since launch in September 2021, the service has carried over 575,000 riders.
The service provides rides in the Denton, Highland Village, Lewisville and Castle Hills areas. Some of the most popular locations for GoZone trips include grocery stores, the Downtown Denton Transit Center, Golden Triangle Mall, Vista Ridge Mall, the Shops at Highland Village, Medical City Lewisville and Rayzor Ranch Marketplace, according to service data.
Because GoZone functions as public transit, versus as a consumer ride hailing service, GoZone ride fares do no fluctuate based on external factors such as weather, time of day, or the cost of gas. Under promotional pricing, rides currently only cost $0.75, however those fares will rise slightly in January. Users can either upload their card payment through the app or pay with cash during the ride, but exact change is required.
Rides are primarily booked through the smartphone app, but for those who do not have access to a smartphone can book a ride by calling DCTA directly at 940-243-0077, or by going to the Downtown Denton Transit Center.
The service has proved to be a great success for many of Denton County’s residents. One of them, Dyani Jensen, not only used the service but became part of the service herself. Tired of spending so much money every month on taxis, Jensen and her husband decided to try the service. She was so impressed by the service, she decided to become a driver as a way to earn some extra money.
“You drive everybody,” Jensen said. “And you ride around with students, mothers with their kids.... It’s just a variety of community people who use it.”
Having recently given birth, Jensen has put a pause on driving for GoZone, but she and her family continue to use the service as they save up for a car.
“Now that we have our son, it’s very handy to get to and from his doctor’s appointments, my doctor’s appointments,” she said. “And we can still run a few errands here and there, with him able to come with me.”
To learn more about GoZone, please visit https://www.dcta.net/getting-around/gozone-demand.
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