Denton residents express fear of bus cuts

0

DENTON, Texas — Public transportation is a concern for many Denton County residents as the Denton County Transportation Authority begins to consider the future of the current bus system.

“When bus drivers are attacked, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.” It was one of the chants shouted outside the Denton County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon, as the group known as the No Denton bus cutsalong with union members and local residents, demanded that the DCTA preserve bus routes.

One rally participant, Kristine Bray, runs a Twitter account called Denton Transit Display. She uses this page to outline ways to make places like Denton more bike-, bus- and walk-friendly.

“You can’t have public transportation with four people an hour,” Bray told a group of attendees.

The DCTA cut a few bus lines, sparking outrage among some Denton County residents. (Spectrum News 1/Michael Lozano)

Bray is referring to the ride-sharing service operated by VIA known as GoZone. The service, according to the DCTA website, costs 75 cents for one ride. It has been an option for Denton County residents since September 2021.

People like Bray and Denton, resident of Eva Grecco, say GoZone service is unreliable and feel like it’s a stepping stone to removing bus lines from public transportation altogether.

“Hopefully our bus lines will come back and VIA will go,” Grecco said.

Gathering members say relying solely on an app-based service will isolate community members who may not be tech-savvy or lack cellular data.

Dallas resident Patrick Lee has been traveling to Denton for work for five years.

Spectrum News 1 spoke with Lee on Thursday afternoon as he prepared to board a train home.

Lee says his routine trip to work was turned upside down two months ago when DCTA announced that the bus route he used to get to work, after leaving the station, had been interrupted.

“They let me know it was going to stop happening before it happened, so I could prepare to find another way to work,” Lee said.

Now Lee is taking it a step further by ordering a Lyft to complete the final leg of his trip to work, costing him more time and money.

Lee says he spends “about $10 more,” pointing out that’s about $50 a week.

Spectrum News 1 has reached out to DCTA for comment on the rally and residents’ concerns.

A DCTA spokesperson issued a statement by telephone, saying, “We are currently in the process of concluding a public comment period. June 10 is the last day. We invite the public to provide feedback as we look to make changes in the near future. »

Patrick Lee commutes between Dallas and Denton by train. The bus he used to take was disrupted, forcing him to spend more money on a Lyft to get to work. (Spectrum News 1/Michael Lozano)

Lee says if the bus line doesn’t return, he might have to start commuting by car, adding that the cost is starting to equal what he spends on public transit and using Lyft.

Share.

Comments are closed.