DCTA

Riders take the bus and train to their next destination at the Downtown Denton Transit Center. 

LEWISVILLE — Denton County Transportation Authority officials agreed to expand their services for a small group of Lewisville riders with disabilities by driving them to medical appointments in Flower Mound.

Michelle Bloomer, vice president for operations, said about 20 to 25 Access Bus customers complained that they can’t travel to the appointments, even though they are only a few miles outside the city limits.

Most of the riders could be accommodated through DCTA’s contract with Lyft, Bloomer said, estimating that the additional service would cost about $10,000 per year. Those who need wheelchair service would get a ride either from DCTA’s Access Bus or DCTA’s other contract with SPAN, the county’s paratransit service.

Lewisville is a member of DCTA, but neighboring Flower Mound is not.

New DCTA board member and Denton Mayor Chris Watts said he was OK with the change, but he felt the board should hammer out a policy outlining when and how transit services go beyond the boundaries of the member cities.

“As word gets out, you’re going to get more of these requests,” Watts said.

Approving that service change required a new supermajority vote of the agency’s reconfigured board of directors. A new law winnowed the voting power to the county and the member cities, which includes Lewisville, Denton and Highland Village.

Thursday was the first meeting of the new board. The agency’s attorney advised that whenever a board issue requires a supermajority vote in the future, two city representatives and one county representative must vote “yes” or the measure fails.

Lewisville sent TJ Gilmore in place of Charles Emery, who resigned from the board last week. Gilmore read into the record a proclamation first read in Lewisville declaring that Tuesday, May 21, was Charles Emery Day in honor of his service.

Emery spearheaded the creation of DCTA in 2002 and served as its board chairman from its inception until this month.

“I know I have colossally big shoes to fill,” Gilmore said.

Denton County delegate Shannon Joski told fellow board members that another proclamation was being prepared to honor Emery in Commissioners Court, likely in June.

Raymond Suarez, CEO for DCTA, told board members that the agency is making plans to name a rail station after Emery. That ceremony would likely come in October, Suarez said.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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