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AUGUST 2014

Your Future Is Riding On Us

Play. Eat. Shop.

Repeat.

Looking for something different to do? Take the A-Train to the Trinity Mills Station, then catch the DART Green Line to the Downtown Carrollton Station. Spend the day shopping and dining in Carrollton boutiques and specialty restaurants. Find anything from treasured antiques and designer labels, to spa gift certificates and unique accessories—all just a train ride away! Keep up with the latest news and activities at cityofcarrollton.com OR Follow us on

Denton County Transportation Authority

INSIDE A PUBLICATION OF THE DENTON RECORD-CHRONICLE President’s message Thank you for making our future bright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 6 Regional rail Public transportation key to growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 7 Game day DCTA is the ticket to UNT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10 Construction woes Enjoy an easier commute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 12-13 Picturesque trail Fun for bicyclists & pedestrians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 17 Rail education Program promotes safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 18-19 Improved travel Bus system expanded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 20-21 Fun for all Upcoming festivals in Denton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 22-23

CREDITS Editor: Scott K. Parks Advertising Director: Sandra Hammond Retail Advertising Manager: Shawn Reneau Writers/photographers/designers: Tim Blackwell, Jim Cline, Steve Gamel, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe, Al Key, Kaycee Key, Jason Lee, Bj Lewis, David Minton, Kim Phillips

A-train

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Denton County Transportation Authority

Thank you for making our future bright

By Jim Cline

President of Denton County Transportation Authority

I

t’s been awhile since I’ve written an article for the A-train magazine. A lot has been happening with DCTA, in which you will find in this latest issue. We have experienced great success in the past months. DCTA ridership continues to increase with nearly two million passenger trips on our bus and rail system already this year. Specifically, A-train ridership has experienced significant growth as more people continue to choose DCTA for alternative transportation during the construction on I-35E. In addition to A-train growth, we have expanded our Connect bus serv-

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ice in Lewisville. Due to increased ridership, DCTA purchased five new buses to operate on Lewisville Connect. The new buses contain 20 seats – four more seats than previous buses. Also, we have created a “Park and Ride” at the MedPark Station for the UNT Shuttle Colorado Express, and passengers can take this route to the University of North Texas campus with no transfers. This new service will begin in conjunction with the upcoming August service changes. In March, we distributed our 2014 Community Survey to gather feedback from passengers, non-passengers and community members regarding current service performance

and to identify additional ways to provide improved transit services, customer service and passenger information. DCTA received more than 900 responses from the community, and below are some key survey highlights: ■ More than 93 percent of survey respondents rated DCTA as good or excellent in regards to safety. ■ More than 92 percent rated DCTA staff as good or excellent. ■ 80 percent of survey

respondents would recommend DCTA to friends or family members. In the community survey, many respondents suggested the need for real-time passenger information. This fall, DCTA will launch “Where’s My Ride” – a vehicle tracking tool that provides real-time travel information to passengers, allowing them to obtain predictive arrival information for a Connect bus or A-train at a particular stop location via phone, online and mobile devices. This new tool will also provide DCTA with internal data that will help us better schedule routes and times for our services that will benefit passengers.

I want to thank all of our wonderful partners – from our member cities, local universities and organizations – who believe in DCTA and our mission to provide safe, customer focused, and efficient mobility solutions for Denton County. Also, I want to give a special shout out to our staff members and crew who continuously work hard to provide great experiences and customer service for our passengers. And thank you to our passengers who choose to ride DCTA! We appreciate your continued support of our services. Our future outlook is bright because of the support we receive from all of you. Thanks for joining us on this ride!

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority

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Public transportation key to North Texas’ growth

n 2011, the Denton County Transportation Authority opened the A-train, providing regional rail connectivity between one of the fastest growing counties in North Texas and Dallas. Along with the upcoming completion of DART’s Orange Line extension to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and proposed projects to connect Fort Worth and North Dallas via the TEX Rail/Cotton Belt Corridor, these projects mark the start of a new boom in increased regional rail connectivity. And thanks to our region’s tremendous population growth, this expansion in rail projects is coming not a moment too soon. North Texas is proud to be the fastest-growing large region in the U.S., adding a new person every four minutes. Anyone who lives here knows why we are seeing the increase in mov-

A-train

ing vans and out-of-state license plates—our low cost of living; stable, diverse economy; and easy access to both coasts and key international markets through DFW International Airport. But there is one thing that these newest North Texans won’t be bringing in their moving boxes: extra roads and highways. If the real estate and economic development mantra is “location, location, location,” perhaps in our 9,000-squaremile region we should follow that up with one of our own: “transportation, transportation, transportation.” And right now, our region is facing some significant transportation-related challenges. According to the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ 2035 Mobility Plan, the time North Texans spend in their vehicles each day will increase by 114 percent, with an increased travel time of

40 percent. That extra time spent in traffic will equate to more than $10 billion in economic losses, more than doubling the current $4.7 billion cost of congestion today. Highway projects underway today will help alleviate traffic snarls for years to come, but changing trends in car ownership and usage demonstrate the need for new mobility options beyond more concrete. Recent studies have found that the importance of car ownership is less important to Millennials than previous generations. In 2011, only 79 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds had a driver’s license, down from 92 percent in 1983. Indeed, Millennials are the only demographic group to value their computer or mobile phone more than their automobile. Furthermore, research by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) finds that across all demographic groups

car ownership and vehicle miles travelled have been declining since the mid-2000s. To meet the needs of its growing population, North Texas needs to develop a dynamic transportation ecosystem, characterized by a diversity of mobility options ranging from automobiles to light rail to bicycling. The continued development of our region’s rail connectivity will both help reduce stress on our road network while also meeting the changing mobility preferences of a new generation of North Texans. The transportation network of tomorrow will be able to move people and goods throughout the region quickly and efficiently using a variety of modes. Regional rail will be a key component of that network by increasing mobility without increasing automobile congestion. All aboard!

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A-train

A-train

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Denton County Transportation Authority

A-Train is the ticket to Mean Green game day

By Kim Phillips

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

T

he University of North Texas is the 25th largest public university in the country. Denton has more than 36,000 students, 5,000 faculty and staff, plus some 130,000 alumni in the immediate DFW region. Famous, shining new Apogee Stadium is home field to Coach Dan McCarney’s stellar football team, the Mean Green. Homegame attendance averages 21,000 since Apogee Stadium opened. But where is the rest of this multitude on game days? Introducing Mean Green Game Day. The Denton County Transportation Authority

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(DCTA) A-train is teaming up with UNT Athletics and the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) to create a game-day experience that will engage locals, students and alums like never before. DCTA and UNT hope to put cheeks in seats and heads in beds all over Denton in the same way it works during home games in other university destinations like Austin, Lubbock, College Station, and Waco. DCTA is connecting downtown Denton, the Mean Green Tailgating Village and Apogee Stadium with complimentary transportation for a complete original and independent game

day in Denton experience. Among Dentonites, parking is perceived as a potential hazard. Not so anymore on game days. The Mean Green Game Day plan removes the parking dilemma completely, even for locals. Vast parking options are available up and down the Atrain route, and parking is a non-issue from points south using the DART green line to connect to the A-train. Fans will board the train, arrive at the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center and enjoy free DCTA shuttles that make two stops in downtown on the way to and from the UNT pedestrian bridge, no car necessary.

Businesses throughout downtown Denton are clamoring to become 2014 Game Day Champions, partners in one of the most aggressive campaigns in Denton’s history. DCTA, UNT and the DCVB are anchoring the campaign that is running this summer throughout the Mean Green’s 2014 season. Ultimately, Mean Green Game Day will become a series of must-attend major events in Denton during football season year after year. The A-train is the ticket to Mean Green Game Days made easier and packed with more fun than ever before. What are you waiting for? Get your green on!

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority

DCTA campus shuttles provide a great transportation alternative By Tim Blackwell

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

D

enton County residents don’t have to pretend that they are students to take advantage of one bus route that connects Highland Village and Lewisville to the DCTA Atrain. The North Central Texas College (NCTC) Shuttle is intended to move college students, faculty and staff from Lewisville and Denton to the campus, but anyone can ride. DCTA has a contract with the school to provide shuttle service between the Corinth and Flower Mound campuses, Lewisville and the Denton MedPark Station. That service will resume in August as students flock to area universities for the fall semester. NCTC Shuttle is running buses destined for NCTC campuses that will travel along a desirable route to several area attractions and medical centers. For the last few years, the bus has provided nearby access to the Flower Mound Performing Arts Center, Denton Regional Medical Center, Atrium Medical Center of Corinth and Civic Circle in Lewisville. The public can hop aboard and avoid the glut of cars along the route. The only difference is

A-train

instead of riding with an NCTC I.D., non-NCTC riders would pay a cash fare upon boarding. Kristina Brevard, DCTA Vice President of Marketing & Communications, says area residents have a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the ride. “Many are unaware that our college shuttle routes to NCTC and UNT are open to the public,” she said. “Everybody is welcome. It’s a worthwhile alternative to traffic and parking has-

sles.” To improve frequency and encourage more riders, DCTA added another bus to the route. Also, the NCTC Shuttle provides connectivity to not only the A-train but also to other bus routes that traverse Denton and Lewisville. In Denton, NCTC Shuttle passengers may transfer to the A-train at MedPark Station, as well as from DCTA Connect via Route 2 and UNT Shuttle Colorado Express. In Lewisville, passengers may transfer to and from any DCTA Connect route and Connect RSVP at Summit and Civic Circle. During the academic year, the NCTC Shuttle operates Monday through Friday, with exception of holidays. Depending on the discretion of NCTC, the Shuttle may operate during minimesters in the winter and

spring. For the general public, the cost is $3 for adults or $1.50 for elderly, disabled or Medicare cardholders and students (ages 5-18, students over the age of 14 require valid high school or DCTA issued ID). Valid DCTA Local System and Regional fare options are accepted, including DART, The T and TRE Regional Passes. NCTC students, faculty and staff with a valid NCTC ID ride the NCTC Shuttle and Connect bus service for no additional fare. In addition to the NCTC Shuttle, DCTA also services the UNT campus with the UNT Shuttle. This system is comprised of 9 routes and is open to the general public with accepted fare upon boarding. Visit www.RideDCTA.net for more information about DCTA’s campus shuttles.

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Denton County Transportation Authority

A-Train offers easy commute during road construction

By Bj Lewis Staff Writer

H

ave you looked around an A-train car recently? Noticed more seats filling Denton County Transportation Authority buses? You probably have and there is good reason for it Denton County Transportation Authority ridership keeps climbing. There will be even more to follow as the agency awaits that major Interstate 35E-related spike in the numbers. Officials said they hope and expect those upward trends to continue, even as they plan to promote and advertise to bring in more passengers as the I-35E expansion project continues.

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“We are seeing solid growth and that’s real positive, [but] in terms of a huge jump somewhere, I think that will be a function of how the traffic is managed,” DCTA President Jim Cline said in a recent interview “We’re watching for things like when FM407 goes under construction and when the major elements come in and start affecting people.” According to the most recent numbers, DCTA carried 140,676 passengers systemwide — rail and bus — in May. The Atrain carried 44,244 passengers during the month, an overall increase in ridership of 15.8 percent from May 2013. DCTA’s bus system carried 96,432 passengers in May.

The agency has carried nearly 2 million people on both bus and rail combined this year. “It’s summer time. There is less traffic on the road,” said Kristina Brevard, vice president of communications and marketing for DCTA. “Once we

move into the fall, that’s when it will be really interesting to see where ridership goes: Schools get back in session, people get back from vacation and to their regular lives.” See CONSTRUCTION on Page 13

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority

Brevard noted that the agency’s August service changes, while not major, will improve some connections and will likely yield further ridership increases. Bus ridership is up, which shows staff that passengers are using both modes in their travels, she said. “We had a pretty significant increase in Lewisville, and this past year had to purchase a large bus because of capacity,” Brevard said. Meanwhile, on Interstate 35E, work continues on massive toll lanes running alongside Interstate 35E in northwest Dallas. While those toll lanes are set to open soon, not all the connectors designed to feed the toll lanes have been added to the highway. Until more roadwork is com-

A-train

pleted, the new bridges will only offer short, tolled connections between the existing free lanes of I-35E and I-635. In Denton County, construction continues on the 35Express project and the expansion of the interstate that will tie into the Dallas project. “We work very closely with LBJ Express on the south end of the project,” said Kimberly Sims, spokeswoman for 35Express. “There are times

when we need to coordinate work and closures to be as efficient as possible and lessen impacts on the traveling public.” Sims said the 35Express project’s managed-lane system will tie into I-635’s managed-lane system near the intersection of both roadways. The 35Express managed-lane system will stretch from the Turbeville/Swisher Road area in Hickory Creek south to I635.

Also, the system is reversible. The lanes will flow southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening, and there will be 11 access points along with shoulders and perches for law enforcement officials. “Traffic in the managed-lane system is expected to flow at 50 mph and toll fees will be variable, depending on the amount of congestion in the lanes,” Sims said. Even as all this work goes on, Cline said DCTA will continue to make sure people are aware of the agency as an option before, during and after all the construction. “We’re going to be aiming to see growth opportunities when they present themselves (and) and will look at what makes the most sense going forward. I-35 or not, we will keep working on building ridership.”

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A-TRAIN SCHEDULE

For information on DCTA services, trip planning assistance or disability services, please call 940-243-0077 Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Informaciòn sobre A-train

Effective August 26, 2014 Please note: schedule subject to change. Check website for latest schedule information.

RideDCTA.net

Northbound to Denton Norte a Denton Monday - Friday

STATION estaciones

Friday Night

lunes - viernes

Viernes par la noche

READ 5302 5304 5306 5308 5910 5912 5914 5916 5918 5920 5922 5924 5928 5930 5934 5936 5338 5940 5942 5944 5946 5948 5950 5952 5954 5956 5958 5960 DOWN AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM

Green Line Arrives Trinity Mills Hebron Old Town HV/LL MedPark DDTC

q q q q q q q

5962 PM 8:04

5964 PM 10:24

5:40 5:55 6:18 6:43 7:18 7:48 8:18 9:03 10:24 11:44 1:04 2:04

3:24 3:44 4:04 4:24 4:44 5:12

5:29 5:59 6:14 6:29

7:24

5:53 6:15 6:37 6:59 7:21 8:04 8:26 9:10 10:31 11:55 1:23 2:20

3:29 3:51 4:11

4:55 5:17

5:39 6:01 6:23

6:45

7:29

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5:58 6:20 6:42 7:04 7:26 8:09 8:31 9:15 10:36 12:00 1:28 2:25

3:34 3:56 4:16 4:38 5:00 5:22

5:44 6:06 6:28

6:50 7:34

8:15

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4:32 4:57 5:19 5:41 6:03 6:25 6:47 7:09 7:31 8:14 8:36 9:20 10:41 12:05 1:33 2:30 2:57 3:39 4:01 4:21 4:43 5:05 5:27

5:49 6:11 6:33 6:55 7:39

8:20

10:40

4:38 5:03 5:25 5:47 6:09 6:31 6:53 7:15 7:37 8:20 8:42 9:26 10:47 12:11 1:39 2:36 3:03 3:45 4:07 4:27 4:49 5:11 5:33

5:55 6:17 6:39 7:01 7:45

8:26

10:46

4:49 5:14 5:36 5:58 6:20 6:42 7:04 7:26 7:48 8:31 8:53 9:37 10:58 12:22 1:50 2:47 3:14 3:56 4:18 4:38 5:00 5:22 5:44

6:06 6:28 6:50 7:12 7:56

8:37

10:57

4:54 5:19 5:41 6:03 6:25 6:47 7:09 7:31 7:53 8:36 8:58 9:42 11:03 12:27 1:55 2:52 3:19 4:01 4:23 4:43 5:05 5:27 5:49

6:11 6:33 6:55 7:17

8:42

11:02

4:33

8:01

Southbound to Carrollton Sur a Carrolton Monday - Friday

STATION estaciones

Friday Night

lunes - viernes

Viernes par la noche

READ 5901 5903 5905 5907 5909 5911 5913 5915 5917 5919 5321 5925 5927 5931 5933 5935 5937 5939 5941 5943 5945 5947 5949 5951 5953 5955 5957 DOWN AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM

q DDTC MedPark Denton q q HV/LL q Old Town q Hebron q Trinity Mills Green Line Departs q

5:09 5:31 5:53 6:15 6:37 6:59 7:21 7:43 8:04 8:48 9:10 10:31 11:55 1:23 2:20 3:07 3:51 4:11 4:33 4:55 5:17 5:39 6:01 6:22 5:14 5:36 5:58 6:20 6:42 7:04 7:26 7:48 8:09 8:53 9:15 10:36 12:00 1:28 2:25 3:12 3:56 4:16 4:38 5:00 5:22 5:44 6:06 6:27

6:48

7:12

7:55

8:35

9:25

11:20

5:25 5:47 6:09 6:31 6:53 7:15 7:37 7:59 8:20 9:04 9:26 10:47 12:11 1:39 2:36 3:23 4:07 4:27 4:49 5:11 5:33 5:55 6:17 6:38

6:59 7:23

8:06

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9:36

11:31

5:31 5:53 6:15 6:37 6:59 7:21 7:43 8:05 8:26 9:10 9:32 10:53 12:17 1:45 2:42 3:29 4:13 4:33 4:55 5:17 5:39 6:01 6:23 6:44

7:05 7:29

8:12

8:52

9:42

11:37

5:36 5:58 6:20 6:42 7:04 7:26 7:48 8:10 8:31 9:15 — 10:58 12:22 1:50 2:47 3:34 4:18 4:38 5:00 5:22 5:44 6:06 6:28 6:49

7:10

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5:41 6:03 6:25 6:47 7:09 7:31 7:53 8:15 8:36 9:20 — 11:03 12:27 1:55 2:52 3:39 4:23 4:43 5:05 5:27 5:49 6:11 6:33 6:54

7:15 7:39

8:22

5:43 6:13 6:28 6:58 7:14 7:43 7:58 8:30 8:50 9:30 — 11:10 12:30 2:10 3:11 3:41 4:26 4:56 5:11 5:48 6:10 6:13 6:50 7:10

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8:30

q q q q q q q

Saturday

9:14 11:04 1:24 3:04 5:24 7:04 9:04 11:04

9:17 11:06 1:30 3:06 5:26 7:06 9:06 11:06

9:22 11:11 1:35 3:11 5:31 7:11 9:11 11:11

DDTC MedPark Denton HV/LL Old Town Hebron Trinity Mills Green Line Departs

7:57 9:44 11:33 1:57 3:33 5:53 7:33 9:33 11:33 8:02 9:49 11:38 2:02 3:38 5:58 7:38 9:38 11:38

A-TRAIN SYSTEM MAP

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380

City Hall Mayhill

2

ora

720

Hickory St.

407

Highland Village

College

4

Hebron

35E

2

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H

35E

H

3220 MedPark Drive, Denton

Old Town Station

Hebron Station

Walters St. FM 1171

Legacy Dr.

Bogard Ln.

2998 N. Stemmons Frwy., Lewisville Trinity Mills Station

- Served by Connect Route 21

- Served by A-train & DART Green Line

He br

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MacArthur Dr.

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Trinity Mills Rd.

4

190 161

M

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St

5

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6

6 dw

Lakeside Cir.

35E

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. St

617 East Main St., Lewisville

952 Lakeside Circle, Lewisville

Potential Ad space 10.25” x 1.5”

2525 Blanton Drive, Carrollton

Mayes Rd.

Church St.

3

Pinehurst

North Texas Hospital

Prairie St.

d.

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Ridg

Br

To Downtown Dallas

Blvd

College St.

Round Grove Rd. Denton COUNTY DALLAS COUNTY

do

Dr .

Blanton

5

ark

- Served by Connect RSVP

604 East Hickory St., Denton

121

Lewisville

Highland Village/ Lewisville Lake Station

Quail Creek

Sycamore St.

- Served by Connect Route 23

1171

121

1

Bell

Industrial

3

Justin Rd.

8:50 10:50 12:50 2:50 4:30 6:57 8:27 10:57 12:26

t.

Swisher

8:42 10:42 12:42 2:42 4:22 6:43 8:19 10:47 12:20 8:47 10:47 12:47 2:47 4:27 6:48 8:24 10:52 12:25

le P

35E

8:31 10:31 12:31 2:31 4:11 6:32 8:08 10:36 12:09 8:37 10:37 12:37 2:37 4:17 6:38 8:14 10:42 12:15

Eag

2181 377

8:15 10:15 12:15 2:15 3:55 6:16 7:52 10:20 11:53

Denton Regional Medical Center

Ave.

Mulberry St. 35W

Col

Oak St.

sábado

8:20 10:20 12:20 2:20 4:00 6:21 7:57 10:25 11:58

- Served by Connect Route 2

Routes

1

q q q q q q q

MedPark Station

Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) - Served by all Denton Connect

Follow us on

McKinney

N

estaciones

7:46 9:33 11:22 1:46 3:22 5:42 7:22 9:22 11:22

Denton

READ 5971 5973 5975 5977 5979 5981 5983 5985 5987 DOWN AM AM PM PM PM PM PM PM PM/AM

STATION

7:40 9:27 11:16 1:40 3:16 5:36 7:16 9:16 11:16

Informaciòn sobre A-train

7:50

Southbound to Carrollton Sur a Carrolton

sábado

READ 5370 5972 5974 5976 5978 5980 5982 5984 5986 DOWN AM AM AM PM PM PM PM PM PM

Green Line Arrives Trinity Mills Hebron Old Town HV/LL MedPark DDTC

5963 PM 11:15

7:07

Saturday

STATION

5961 PM 9:20

6:43

Northbound to Denton Norte a Denton estaciones

7:50

5359 PM 8:30

RideDCTA.net

Local System Valid on Regional System

Required for trips

taken outside of DCTA service area

Pass Sales Locations: At Ticket Vending Machines at DCTA Rail Stations On Board DCTA Buses At the Eulene Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center Passes are also sold at RideDCTA.net and at DCTA ticket outlets in Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village.

Local System Reduced Fare Rate Rate $1.25* $3.00 $2.50* $6.00 $25.00 $40.00 $40.00* $90.00 $480.00* $650.00 $30.00

Fare Type 2-Hour Pass Day Pass 7-Day Pass 10-Pack of Day Pass† Monthly/31-Day Pass Annual Pass Summer Youth Pass

** Students attending colleges withphysicalcampuseswithin Denton County are eligible to participate in the University Pass Program. Proof of enrollment is required. *** Faculty and staff working at colleges with physical campuses within Denton County are eligible to participate in the University Pass Program. Proof of employment is required.

Local System

Regional System

Full Semester Pass

$125.00**

$175.00**

Summer Semester Pass

$80.00**

$150.00**

Annual Pass

$300.00**

$400.00**

Full Semester Pass

$170.00***

$340.00***

† Passes purchased in a ten pack must be validated by a DCTA bus operator or passengers can self-validate the pass by using a hole punch to mark the month and day.

Annual Pass

$420.00***

$840.00***

Free Fares

Student

University & College Fares

Faculty/ Staff

Fare Type One-Way Trip Ten Ride Book Monthly/ 31-Day Pass Annual Pass

Reduced Rate $0.75* -

Fare Rate $1.50 $13.00

$25.00*

$45.00

-

$450.00

Demand Response Access

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Regional System Reduced Fare Rate Rate $1.25* $5.00 $2.50* $10.00 $50.00 $70.00 $40.00* $160.00 $480.00* $1,600.00 -

* Reduced = Seniors (65+), disabled,Medicarecardholders and students (Ages 5-18, students over the age of 14 require a valid high school or DCTA issued ID).

Fare Type

Fare Rate

One-Way Trip

$3.00

Ten Ride Book

$30.00

Fare Type One-Way Trip

Reduced Rate $1.50*

Fare Rate $3.00

Transfer Buy-up Fare Type Connect to Local System 2-Hour Pass Connect to Regional System 2-Hour Pass DCTA Local System 2-Hour Pass to Regional System 2-Hour Pass

Fare Rate

or with visible badge paying adult

ShuttleandConnectinlieuof fare

$1.50 $3.50

Effective 8/25/14

$2.00

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority

Onward Ho! on the Rail Trail

By Tim Blackwell

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

D

CTA and the Texas Department of Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n (TxDOT) are making progress to complete the remaining 13 miles of the winding, picturesque Rail Trail, a planned bike and pedestrian trail that will parallel the entire length of the A-train. Two sections - Swisher Road south to Kelton in Hickory Creek and the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station south to Hebron Station – have yet to be completed. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is

A-train

funding the Swisher RoadKelton project, while DCTA is paying for the other. In the spring, DCTA submitted two grant applications to help cover a shortage of funding for the $6 million to $8 million price tag to construct the rail trail portion from Highland Village to Old Town Station and south to Hebron Station. In April, a request was submitted for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, more widely known as TIGER grants, in partnership with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). With the grant, DCTA hopes to

become a part of the Regional Bicycle/Pedestrian Multimodel Network that includes 10 regional partners. At the end of May, DCTA applied for a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant which is sponsored by NCTCOG. Pending grant approval, DCTA anticipates that Rail Trail construction from Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station to Old Town Station will be finished in 2016, with the remainder to be done by 2017. Grants will be awarded in the fall, said Kristina Brevard, DCTA Vice President of Marketing & Communications.

Farther north, plans are in the works for TxDOT to complete a third phase of the project which includes bike and walking trails from Kelton Crossing to Swisher Road. When the trails are complete, residents and visitors will be able to move about the length of the A-train’s 21-mile network either by rail, foot or bicycle or a combination. The trail will connect each section and provide bike riders an opportunity to cycle all the way or take a break and ride the train. All DCTA vehicles accommodate bikes whenever possible on a space-available basis.

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Denton County Transportation Authority

DCTA promotes rail safety

By Tim Blackwell

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

W

ith the start of school just around the corner, Denton County residents are sure to make the most of their final few days of summer vacation as memorable as possible. That may mean spending more time in various parts of the county and knowingly or unknowingly mingling with the DCTA A-train. DCTA officials want to remind community members that getting too close to moving trains is dangerous and illegal. Motorists should practice grade crossing safety and never try to

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beat the train, and pedestrians should not trespass on tracks which may appear to be unoccupied. Safety starts at home, says DCTA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristina Brevard. “It’s important for parents to remind children that the tracks are not a place to play, and they are not a sidewalk,” she said. The message isn’t just limited to practicing safety around the A-train. Three of the nation’s major Class I freight railroads – Union Pacific (UP), Kansas City

Southern and BNSF Railway – pass through the county daily. Several long Union Pacific trains pass through Downtown Denton, briefly paralleling Mingo Road, Bell Avenue and South Locust and crossing a number of streets. UP spokesman Steve Lazzari

says almost two years after the railroad industry enjoyed one of its safest years ever, highwayrail incidents at public and private crossings and trespassing incidents are on the rise at a startling rate. See SAFETY on Page 19

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority From Page 18

Safety

“Every three hours somebody or a vehicle gets hit by a train in the U.S.,” he said aboard a UP Special that recently passed through Denton on its way to Oklahoma. “Just this morning, I got three notifications (of incidents).” As an industry, railroads have reduced grade crossing incidents since 1972 by 83 percent, according to Operation Lifesaver, a national rail safety advocate. However, last year had a disturbing uptick from 2012 with 2,017 highway-rail incidents at public and private crossings. Two hundred fiftyone people died and 929 others were injured. Trespassing incidents are also

on the rise. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), last year in the U.S. there were 476 trespassing fatalities, up 11 percent from 2012 when the industry experienced its safest year ever, reported by freight and passenger railroads. The amount of fatalities and injuries in 2013 rose nearly 7 percent. “We don’t know why that’s up,” Lazzari said. “Maybe it’s texting. We just don’t know.” Texas trespassing fatalities and injuries have actually dropped 11 percent, but in other parts of the country they are up

dramatically. In New Jersey, a state heavy on freight and commuter passenger rail, 18 people have lost their lives and 15 have been injured – a 153 percent increase. Lazzari, a former locomotive engineer, and others who operate massive locomotives know firsthand about the power and force behind a train going 55 mph. A 100-car freight train traveling at that speed takes about a mile to stop, depending on conditions. Trains don’t swerve, Lazzari says. Folks should view a grade crossing the same as any other

kind of intersection where roads and tracks intersect. “You have to yield,” he said. Operation Lifesaver launched its “See Tracks. Think Train” campaign in April to get back on track what’s been a largely successful safety run in the industry over the last 40 years. DCTA is playing an active role in promoting rail safety. The transit agency works with local schools and organizations through its RAIL READY program to promote safety around the tracks. The RAIL READY program is based on Operation Lifesaver’s message to stay off the tracks and teach community members to “Look, Listen & Live.” “We want to continue to emphasize that people need to be safe around the tracks and to not take shortcuts,” she said.

HM

A-train

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Denton County Transportation Authority

DCTA expands bus system

By Tim Blackwell

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

D

enton Country Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n Authority’s recent upgrades to the Connect Bus Service is helping increase ridership and providing better connections for passengers to the A-train. New, bigger buses and a route change in Lewisville have helped improve travel and connections with the A-train for passengers using the DCTA system. “We’ve started using larger buses in Lewisville to address the need for additional capaci-

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ty,” said Kristina Brevard, DCTA Vice President of Marketing & Communications. “We’ve implemented some great changes. Ridership has steadily increased system-wide; especially on Lewisville Connect.”

Changing Route 21 to serve the Waters Ridge Business Park on Lewisville Connect has helped reach higher density employment areas between Hebron Station and Old Town Station. A-train riders can

board Route 21 at Hebron Station to get to Water Ridge Business Park. DCTA has made a significant investment and improvement to its bus system in the past several months, and indications are that the recent changes are adding positive results. During the current fiscal year, DCTA purchased five new, larger buses to serve the Lewisville area. Capacity on each Lewisville Connect bus grew to 23 seats, including three for wheelchairs, from 19 on older buses. See DCTA on Page 21

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority From Page 20

DCTA

Also, in February, the transit agency opened its new $8.2million Bus and Operations Maintenance facility to replace the previously leased facility located at the landfill on Mayhill Road in Denton. Construction of the 22,000-square-foot facility, which began in 2011, was complete in January 2014. Buses are repaired, maintained, washed, fueled and parked at the facility, which has six bays. DCTA Connect has provided fixed route bus service in Lewisville and Denton for several years. The routes were configured to provide easy access to many important destinations within these cities, Monday through Saturday, excluding major holidays. In May of 2013, DCTA recognized the need to increase service in Lewisville, one of the fastest growing cities on the Atrain footprint. Earlier this year, DCTA increased frequencies and adjusted schedules to improve on-time performance on several routes, including the three routes in Lewisville. Midday frequency was increased for passengers on

A-train

Route 21, in addition to routes 22 and 23. To help citizens move about where fixed routes do not go, DCTA also offers Connect RSVP and Connect OnDemand. The services also help connectivity for the A-train. Connect RSVP is a curb-tocurb bus service offered in Highland Village and North Lewisville, and operates Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays. Connect-On-Demand links the Lewisville Senior Center with Route 21. This area is served Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. upon request of the passenger. Passengers wishing to depart the Lewisville Senior Center during OnDemand hours can request a pick up via Route 21 by calling 940-243-0077. “Connect RSVP is a great service option for those in Highland Village and North Lewisville to reach the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station to connect to the A-train,” Brevard said. Denton Connect has also seen some recent improvements. Frequency for weekday service was boosted for Route 1 and 6, and Route 3 and 4 were adjusted to improve on-time performance. A-train connec-

tions for Route 5 at the Euline Brock Downtown Transit Center (DDTC) were also improved, as well as modifications made to Routes 7 and 8 to better serve night classes at the University of North Texas. In August, passengers will have a new option to get to the UNT campus. The UNT Shuttle Colorado Express will now serve the MedPark Station and provide an option for those who live

near that station and travel to UNT. Prior to Colorado Express serving the MedPark Station, passengers would board Route 2 at MedPark and transfer to Routes 7, 8 or 9 for travel to the UNT campus. The new route changes provide additional options for travel to UNT. The change also enables riders to now utilize the MedPark Station as a Park & Ride to the UNT campus via Colorado Express. The general public can also take advantage of this change and all UNT Shuttle routes. “This modification to the UNT Shuttle Colorado Express will have many benefits for passengers,” Brevard said. “Students, faculty and staff can use the MedPark Station to park their cars, take Colorado Express and get to the UNT campus. It will also eliminate a transfer for some passengers.” For more information, please visit www.RideDCTA.net

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Denton County Transportation Authority

Ride the A-Train to fun festivals

By Steve Gamel

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

D

enton hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year and is quickly becoming a popular place to visit in the Metroplex. Perhaps the best part for visitors is they don’t have to fight traffic to get in on the fun. The A-Train commuter rail has connected visitors between Denton and the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2011 and is a quicker alternative to Interstate 35E. Those interested in catching a North Texas football game at Apogee Stadium or experiencing entertainment options on the square

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won’t have to worry about traffic jams or construction. “We are changing a paradigm,” said Kim Phillips, vice president of the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. “Our culture has always been attached to vehicles; public transportation has never really been much of what we are about. Now, we can show people how relaxing it is and how much more they can get done by just riding the train. If you want to go to an event like a football game that has lots of people and you don’t want to deal with traffic, just ride the train.”

Because of Denton’s conveniently located entertainment venues, parks and public facilities, the A-Train literally drops visitors right in the midle of the action. Most events — such as the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival and Denton Holiday Lighting Festival — are within walking distance. Denton has so much more to offer, from one-time attractions to festivals that last three or four days. Below is a list of just some of the bigger annual events that can be accessed with the ATrain.

Arts, Antiques & Autos Extravaganza — September

2014 www.dentonmainstreet.org This festival is put on by the Denton Main Street Association every year. It’s a classic, hot rod and custom car, truck and motorcycle show with live music, fine arts, kids activities and games, food and shopping. It is located on Hickory Street right outside the Denton County Courthouse-on-theSquare. Visitors get to see antique and classic cars up close, most of which have been restored and preserved. Denton Blues Fest — September 2014 www.dentonblackchamberonline.org

A-train

Denton County Transportation Authority The Denton Black Chamber of Commerce will host its Denton Blues Fest this September at Quakertown Park. The event features music, a Blues Idol contest and Apollo Night for the children.

Oaktopia Music & Cultural Festival — September 2014 www.oaktopiafest.com This event is in just its second year, but the innagural festival — held in downtown Denton this past September — was an instant attraction for serious music fans and festival lovers. Oaktopia offers everything from live music to art, competitions and events and a wide assortment of community vendors. Canned Festival — October 2014 www.untappedfestival.com This is one of the newer festivals in the area and will take over the square for one day in October. Those who put on the event are passionate about great music and even better bear; the festival website says the event will feature over 30 breweries and 50-plus beers. Visitors will have the chance to sample a wide range of these amazing beers while listening to cool tunes and eating free barbecue. Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival — October 2014 www.dentondayofthedeadfestival.com Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival is typically held on the last Saturday in October on Hickory and Industrial Street. The event is a celebration of all things Halloween with music, a pumpkin patch, carnival games and a circus freak show to name just a few of the latest attractions. One of the biggest, however, is the coffin races. Competing teams race with

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draw record attendance numbers. It is held during the last full week of April at Denton’s Quakertown Park and features over 2,000 professional and amateur performers on six stages and showcases continuous music, fine art, crafts, food and games. Headliners from the 2014 event were Al Jarreau, The Quebe Sisters Band, Asleep at the Wheel and Brave Combo.

soapbox cars shaped like coffins down Hickory Street. The event is free to the public and a portion of the sponsorships are donated to local charity. Holiday Lighting Festival of Denton — December 2014 www.dentonholidaylighting.co m Located on the Courthouse Square, this event includes the famed lighting of the Christmas Tree on the historic courthouse lawn, visits with Santa, horsedrawn carriage rides, a children’s arts and crafts area and live music. The Wassail Fest is also typically held in conjunction with the holiday festival.

Thin Line — February 2015 www.thinlinefilmfest.com Thin Line is a five-day documentary film festival and is the only one of its kind in Texas. This past year marked the first time festival officials incorporated music gigs into the traditional film schedule, staging events at multiple downtown venues — all within walking distance — in addition to daytime and early evening documentary

screenings at the Campus Theatre and the Fine Arts Theatre near and on the downtown square. The festival has become a popular attraction since its start in 2007 and brings together more than 60 documentary films, some of which are related to Denton and made by local filmmakers.

35 Denton — March 2015 www.35denton.com After taking a year off, 35 Denton returns in 2015 with its own colorful music blend of experimental, rock, pop, indie and hip hop. The four-day walkable music festival — which has gained international attention — has always set up shop in downtown Denton, but there is talk of possibly moving it to another site. Either way, it’s a must-see event and has featured groups like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Mountain Goats, Best Coast, The Flaming Lips and Reggie Watts. Denton Arts & Jazz Festival — April 2015 www.dentonjazzfest.com This free event continues to

Denton Redbud Festival — April 2015 www.kdb.org This is another must-see event, even if it’s a bit longer walk to the Denton Civic Center. Denton is known as the Redbud Capital of Texas and this event happens to coincide with the blooming of the Redbuds. Visitors who are avid home and garden enthusiasts will love the shows, booths and educational programs held during this one-day event. Denton Cinco De Mayo — May 2015 www.dentoncinco.org or www.dentonparks.com This is a must-see celebration of the cultural traditions, songs, dances and food of the Hispanic community. The event is heading into its 26th year and is held at Quakertown Park on East McKinney Street, though the parade route flows thru the square. Activities include live bands, concession stands and picnic areas. Juneteenth Celebration — June 2015 www.dentonjune teenth.org For those who don’t mind a bit longer walk, the annual Juneteenth Celebration is a two-day event held at Fred Moore Park off Bradshaw and East Prairie Street. It features a live band, softball and basketball tournaments, a parade and a barbecue cook-off.

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Denton County Transportation Authority

Hickory Street renovations planned from Square to train station

By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe Staff Writer

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onstruction crews have started the next phase rebuilding Hickory Street, a “grand street” renovation planned from the A-Train Station to the Square. They have demolished the west side of the Williams Square parking lot, just east of Austin Street, and poured new cement. Once the renovations in the west side of the parking lot are complete, crews will move to the east side. The renovations will change the entrances and exits to the lot. Parking spaces will also change from angled to perpendicular. The entire makeover will narrow Hickory Street to two lanes, widen the sidewalks, add more bike racks, define the crosswalks, and add trees and other landscaping from the Square to the train station. Officials estimate the project will cost $3.1 million and

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be finished in late February or early March. During the next phase, crews will remove the north side on-street parking along Hickory Street from Austin to Bell Avenue. Traffic will shift to the two lanes on the south side as crews rebuild the north side. After that work is done, drivers will be traveling on new pavement as reconstruction moves to the south side. During both these phases, the city plans to keep the sidewalks accessible. Crews will lay plywood panels over construction areas

for business access, too. People can also expect back-in parking to begin at some point during this phase, according to city spokesman Brian Daskam. The City Council agreed to a design change that will have drivers backing into angled parking spaces between Locust Street and Bell Avenue. Both the Williams Square parking lot renovations and the Hickory Street reconstruction are expected to increase available parking in the area from the current 234 spots to 320 spots. Daskam said the city, not the city’s electric utility, will install new street lights planned for the route from the Square to the train station. Once that work is done, Denton Municipal Electric will return with special panels that will allow festival organizers to access electricity in many areas along the street.

A-train

West Quest

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Summer A-train Magazine 2014