The Denton County Transportation Authority has proposed adding more runs of the A-train and changing one Denton bus route around TWU to improve its on-time performance beginning in August.

The proposed changes, along with some changes to bus routes that serve the University of North Texas, were shared during several public meetings and published online for comment in May. If the DCTA Board of Directors approves the changes later this summer, they would go into effect Aug. 26, in time for the fall term at Texas Woman’s University, UNT and North Central Texas College, which will be opening its downtown Denton campus.

DCTA spokeswoman Adrienne Hamilton said the meetings had a good turnout and the agency appreciated the feedback it received.

“Our goal with many of these proposed changes is to enhance the passenger experience and get riders where they need to go,” Hamilton said in an email.

The proposed train schedule adds four northbound and four southbound trains to fill midday gaps. Those gaps have often frustrated riders who missed connections with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system and waited an hour or more for another train home.

A-train ridership has dropped every year since it peaked in 2014. The latest ridership snapshot showed A-train ridership continues to decline, down 7% this year compared to the same time last year.

For the most part, both northbound and southbound trains would depart every 30 minutes, minimizing the wait for a missed connection under the proposed schedule.

For commuters coming into Denton, nine northbound trains arrive before 9 a.m. For those heading out, five southbound trains leave before 8 a.m. each day. And for the return home, a dozen trains leave or come to Denton between 5 and 8 p.m.

The proposed change for buses on Denton Connect Route 6 would shift about a half-mile segment of the route from North Bell Avenue over to Elm and Locust streets. Route 6 currently runs from the Downtown Denton Transit Center to UNT’s Discovery Park and back along Bell, Windsor Drive and North Elm.

The shift would occur after Bus 6 passes through the TWU campus, taking a short jog on University Drive, before connecting to Elm and Locust streets.

DCTA officials said the change should improve the route’s on-time performance, but the change also adds a third “looped” segment to the route because Elm and Locust are one-way streets.

Riders can sometimes get confused when boarding a bus that is traveling a loop and end up riding the long way to their destination.

About 5,000 riders board Route 6 each month, according to recent DCTA ridership data. Route 6 is one of three Denton bus routes that has seen an increase in ridership of 20 percent or more this year, compared to 2018.

While A-train ridership is down, DCTA’s bus ridership is up overall 15% to 16% this year.

Riders and residents can send feedback on the proposed changes by emailing dctainfo@dcta.net or by calling DCTA Customer Service at 940-243-0077.

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

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