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DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

itsjrd1964
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DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby itsjrd1964 » 01 Nov 2018 01:56

Despite Mass Transit Push, Ridership Continues to Lag

The amount of people using DCTA trains and buses is lower by 17%. A new CEO is in place as of recent weeks. He wants to find solutions, which may end up including lower fares.

https://www.dcta.net/
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Despi ... 74731.html

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 01 Nov 2018 09:40

itsjrd1964 wrote:Despite Mass Transit Push, Ridership Continues to Lag

The amount of people using DCTA trains and buses is lower by 17%. A new CEO is in place as of recent weeks. He wants to find solutions, which may end up including lower fares.

https://www.dcta.net/
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Despi ... 74731.html


Boosting frequencies is what they need to figure out how to do.

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electricron
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby electricron » 01 Nov 2018 15:18

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:
itsjrd1964 wrote:Despite Mass Transit Push, Ridership Continues to Lag

The amount of people using DCTA trains and buses is lower by 17%. A new CEO is in place as of recent weeks. He wants to find solutions, which may end up including lower fares.

https://www.dcta.net/
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Despi ... 74731.html


Boosting frequencies is what they need to figure out how to do.

During the rush hours they are running trains with 22 minute headways, which is very good for a single track line.
Increasing headways during non peak hours might help increase traffic then, but you have to have a minimum demand of passengers first.

I believe traffic will increase after they extend the train to meet future Cotton Belts trains, increasing the number of destinations available for Denton County passengers. It’s just a matter of waiting for the Cotton Belt to enter service.

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Alex Rodriguez
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby Alex Rodriguez » 01 Nov 2018 21:41

I think the major reason for the YOY decline on the A-Train is the completion of I-35E construction. Traffic flows better than it ever has so a good chunk of people who rode the train switched back to their car. I do agree that extending it down to Belt Line is a way to increase ridership, making it a direct connection to the Cotton Belt should really help....

Tnexster
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby Tnexster » 15 Nov 2018 16:29

Alex Rodriguez wrote:I think the major reason for the YOY decline on the A-Train is the completion of I-35E construction. Traffic flows better than it ever has so a good chunk of people who rode the train switched back to their car. I do agree that extending it down to Belt Line is a way to increase ridership, making it a direct connection to the Cotton Belt should really help....


Interesting...people prefer their own vehicles to the train. Not really surprising but I didn't think about the TEXpress lanes competing with the train. Eventually that may go back the other way as 35 fills up.

itsjrd1964
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby itsjrd1964 » 15 Nov 2018 22:59

DCTA is looking at a Lewisville <==> McKinney commuter bus route. The Lewisville terminus would be at the DCTA Old Town station along the A-train line, while the McKinney end would be the hospital area just east of US 75/TX 121. Stops envisioned along the route would include Craig Ranch, The Star, DART Northwest Plano Park & Ride, and the Grandscape development in The Colony. It was mentioned at the end of the video that DCTA wants to approach each affected city to help fund the service. There would likely be a 2-year window to get plans for the route firmed up.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/traffic/stories/500575132.html

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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 16 Nov 2018 18:30

I am not surprised I would think its logical that transit systems are going to find smaller pools of potential riders in the further and further out cities and counties. DCTA does a better job than most in that they realize they are not an inner-city transit system and that they are simply connecting people to bigger populated places. For them making the exact right connections is critical for a suburban/countryside transit that is attractive to feed into things like DART. This is why I get so frustrated with DART they have a larger pool of potential frustrated car static customers but still have a terrible bus system and still have more visions for more and more long-distance suburban outreach trains. DCTA is generally doing a good job though of not living outside their means in terms of what they are. DART on the other side thinks they are doing the inner city thing while really chasing after minivans driving up 75 and DNT.
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muncien
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby muncien » 21 Nov 2018 11:05

IMO... The whole "1/4 mile" threshold needs to be reconsidered. DART tries to get service to as many people in the service area based on being within 1/4 mile of a bus stop. Because of how spread out many areas of the service are is, you end up thinning out your service to provide 'more' coverage... and as a result, provide poorer service.
Instead, DART should adjust bus service to core routes with frequent service, and maybe switch to a "1/2 mile" threshold for determining coverage. It's a ridiculously easy change that could be implemented in a matter of months.
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electricron
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby electricron » 22 Nov 2018 00:12

muncien wrote:IMO... The whole "1/4 mile" threshold needs to be reconsidered. DART tries to get service to as many people in the service area based on being within 1/4 mile of a bus stop. Because of how spread out many areas of the service are is, you end up thinning out your service to provide 'more' coverage... and as a result, provide poorer service.
Instead, DART should adjust bus service to core routes with frequent service, and maybe switch to a "1/2 mile" threshold for determining coverage. It's a ridiculously easy change that could be implemented in a matter of months.

Carrying your idea further;
DART should run rapid bus services along major thoroughfares emitting from downtown Dallas in spokes, connecting north Dallas through downtown into south Dallas, or Pleasant Grove, or Oak Cliff. Bus stops should be placed about a half mile apart, less say every eight blocks or so (2400 feet or 800 yards). Then add some circular rapid bus routes which wil run perpendiclular to the earleir routes as well. Set up a great grid, where the grid is tighter closer to downtown and wider further from downtown. Running buses down residential streets with stops two blocks apart (600 feet or 200 yards) should be the exception rather than the rule. I believe most riders are willing and capable of walking more than 2 football fields to catch a bus.

When the buses get as far out as Denton County, and with just three cities as members supporting DCTA with taxes, an express bus service should be better, with mini-buses providing pick up direct services reserved a day or two in advance. That (the latter) is what we get as normal services in rural counties.

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TNWE
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby TNWE » 26 Nov 2018 11:04

electricron wrote: Bus stops should be placed about a half mile apart, less say every eight blocks or so (2400 feet or 800 yards). Then add some circular rapid bus routes which wil run perpendiclular to the earleir routes as well. Set up a great grid, where the grid is tighter closer to downtown and wider further from downtown. Running buses down residential streets with stops two blocks apart (600 feet or 200 yards) should be the exception rather than the rule. I believe most riders are willing and capable of walking more than 2 football fields to catch a bus.


There's nothing more agonizing than being on a bus in somewhat of a hurry and seeing someone request Stop A when another person is waiting at Stop B, and they both came from/went to somewhere in the middle of stops A & B.

It's one thing if there are more closely spaced stops with Shelters, since that serves as a refuge from weather and people can quickly get from the building to the stop, but otherwise it doesn't matter whether you're waiting at a sign midblock or a bench at the intersection - you're still soaked

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art_suckz
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby art_suckz » 02 Apr 2019 17:36

DCTA works to expand its A-train to the Cotton Belt line and TWU

By Sherelle Black | 7:30 am April 2, 2019 CDT

DCTA is looking to extend its service to the south to connect to Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Cotton Belt line, which is expected to be complete in 2022. The agency is also planning to extend north to Texas Woman’s University and possibly all the way to US 380.

...

DCTA Deputy CEO Kristina Holcomb said the agency is conducting a feasibility study and doing preliminary planning on the extensions. DCTA is unsure how much the projects would cost or how soon they could become a reality, she said.

“There are so many pieces that it is hard to put a timeline on it,” she said. “The A-train extension is not something that will occur immediately. But once we conduct those preliminary studies, those results will help inform the agency.”

...

A third phase would be from the downtown Carrollton Station to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s Terminal B. DCTA would be putting its railcars on the Cotton Belt to achieve this extension.



https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort ... ctnews_lfh
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CTroyMathis
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby CTroyMathis » 02 Apr 2019 23:14

Kristina, and Dee (and the Navy guy) before her have been talking about this for almost a decade so it's nice to see a little light shed on it again to remind people there is still something ahead with DCTA and the whole DT Carrollton trifecta to DFW and the bit northward. Although, in the article, I'm a little surprised about the mention of the railcars not being compatible on the Silver/CBC Line. That is baffling as the whole point of everyone going w/Stadler was that everything would interline just freaking fine, PTC and all. This was brought up ages ago and DCTA was ahead of it all as far as I knew. What is it I'm missing?

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muncien
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby muncien » 03 Apr 2019 13:48

That is confusing... It was my understanding that they used the same technology.

Question... Does DCTA currently share tracks with freight? If not, it may be the reinforcing required on cars for them to share tracks, since I believe the Cotton Belt will continue to share tracks with freight.
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northsouth
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby northsouth » 03 Apr 2019 19:06

DCTA uses Stadler cars, but of a different model (GTW) than TEXRail (FLIRT). It might be an issue of platform height, but more likely it's an issue of loading gauge (width). Loading gauge at platform height can be a major issue with regards to compatibility; it's why, regulatory issues aside, heavy rail vehicles can't use light rail platforms. Lines that share tracks with freight either have to design platforms (and therefore passenger trains) that don't conflict with the freight loading gauge, or put the platforms on separate tracks (sidings or gauntlet track). Light rail, not having to share with freight, can have platforms closer to the doors of the train.

DCTA does have some freight run on the southern half of the line, serving a few customers in Lewisville. However, this only occurs at night when DCTA isn't running trains. I know that they got a waiver from the FRA to allow this setup, though I think the rules regarding lightweight European railcars might have been relaxed a bit in recent years, since they are still safely built without being built like freight trains.

The main issue with running to DFW is that there's no room for more tracks/platforms. Unless they get creative or willing to impinge upon roadways, the closest station with room for another platform is DFW North, and if that's the case then there's still a transfer needed between DCTA and DART, so why not do the transfer at Carrollton.

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tamtagon
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby tamtagon » 14 Jun 2020 06:59

Copied from Austin55 at The Fort Worth Forum:

http://www.fortwortharchitecture.com/fo ... c=7049&hl=

DCTA was awarded $600k for TOD planning along this corridor by the FTA. Here's a few more details on the line from the DCTA agenda packet,

https://www.transit.dot.gov/grants/gran ... g-projects

https://www.dcta.net/sites/default/file ... cket_0.pdf

dcta pic1.png
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THRILLHO
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby THRILLHO » 15 Jun 2020 08:27

Wow, this services some areas I never would have guessed would ever get commuter rail service. I don't see the necessity but if Denton really wants to go for it then I say go for it.

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The_Overdog
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby The_Overdog » 15 Jun 2020 11:14

That one mile from Willow Bend Mall will get a TOD but not the actual employment area in Legacy is kind of bizarre. Hebron High and Prestonwood Christian Academy take up a lot of land around there. Not sure it will ever amount to much. Doesn't really get to the Grandscape area either.

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CTroyMathis
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby CTroyMathis » 16 Jun 2020 12:40

In the image showing a Frisco line, all other previous images for 15-20 years show that going to DT Carrollton and jetting down the west side of the green line down towards an Irving TRE station.

Is this drawn correctly? I realize it's not really the subject matter and perhaps it wasn't in line w/NCTCOG. Albeit, the line could just end at DT Carrollton and not nec. have to go to the TRE, but, still - it's been shown that way for a VERY long time.

This quick mash-up wingding link below is very, very old and will show new now because I accessed it to link to it; however, it gives a partial snippet about the DT Carrollton intermodal possibilites of Silver Line, originally-planned DCTA extension (not the new gig above, that's news to me), DART LRT line, and Frisco-to-Irving Line. It was based on NCTCOG stuff, Carrollton municpal pdfs then, various hyper-local news reports at the time, some other stuff, 2 friends at DCTA incl. one who is now one of the CEOs and I'll have to ask about this new DCTA dealio, Taco Tuesday, and, a unicorn:

Link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/drive?sta ... sp=sharing

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TNWE
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby TNWE » 17 Jun 2020 09:07

CTroyMathis wrote:In the image showing a Frisco line, all other previous images for 15-20 years show that going to DT Carrollton and jetting down the west side of the green line down towards an Irving TRE station.

Is this drawn correctly? I realize it's not really the subject matter and perhaps it wasn't in line w/NCTCOG. Albeit, the line could just end at DT Carrollton and not nec. have to go to the TRE, but, still - it's been shown that way for a VERY long time.

As far as I know, the "Frisco Line" was meant to follow the Madill sub all the way down from Downtown Carrollton to Downtown Irving (not sure if it was meant to continue down the TRE alignment in either direction). The Orange line FEIS had a deferred station (South Las Colinas I think was the name) that was adjacent to a future commuter rail stop roughly in the vicinity of Teleport road - you can see the "cutouts" where the platforms would be.

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electricron
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby electricron » 17 Jun 2020 11:54

CTroyMathis wrote:In the image showing a Frisco line, all other previous images for 15-20 years show that going to DT Carrollton and jetting down the west side of the green line down towards an Irving TRE station.

Is this drawn correctly? I realize it's not really the subject matter and perhaps it wasn't in line w/NCTCOG. Albeit, the line could just end at DT Carrollton and not nec. have to go to the TRE, but, still - it's been shown that way for a VERY long time.

This quick mash-up wingding link below is very, very old and will show new now because I accessed it to link to it; however, it gives a partial snippet about the DT Carrollton intermodal possibilites of Silver Line, originally-planned DCTA extension (not the new gig above, that's news to me), DART LRT line, and Frisco-to-Irving Line. It was based on NCTCOG stuff, Carrollton municpal pdfs then, various hyper-local news reports at the time, some other stuff, 2 friends at DCTA incl. one who is now one of the CEOs and I'll have to ask about this new DCTA dealio, Taco Tuesday, and, a unicorn:

Link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/drive?sta ... sp=sharing

Things have changed, but, that happens.


I do not believe there has ever been a dedicated formal feasibility study for passenger train services on the rail corridor to Frisco. The only reason the Frisco line is shown in so many planning maps is because DART owns the rail corridor between Carrollton and Irving, which was included with the purchase of the Rock Island line between Fort Worth and Dallas by the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas.
The Madill subdivision is now owned by BNSF, which was acquired when it bought the Frisco. That's the railroad the City of Frisco gets its name from. :)

Short of an official study, just about any termination of the line could happen. Many variables, including the type of trains used, could affect where a new passenger train service would go.

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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby itsjrd1964 » 21 Sep 2020 12:36

DCTA to Update A-train Schedule and Increase Peak Frequency on Monday

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/dcta- ... y/2447324/

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Redblock
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby Redblock » 09 Nov 2020 11:34

The DCTA train operating contract has been transferred from First Transit to Rio Grande Pacific. The vehicle maintenance contract has been transferred to Stadler, which built the vehicles.

https://dentonrc.com/news/fort-worth-co ... 0c11f.html

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TNWE
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby TNWE » 02 Feb 2021 13:14

Interesting nugget from a DART board presentation on the interlocal agreement for cost-sharing with DCTA (Slide 6 of this deck: https://www.dart.org/about/board/boarda ... 6jan21.pdf)

• DCTA shall compensate DART for an “Impact Fee” when the loads transferring to the DART Green Line triggers the addition of a third car to a two-car train because the peak load exceeds 329 persons on a two-car train
• The fixed fee that DCTA will pay DART is $237 for each trip requiring the third car to accommodate peak direction loads
• The fee will be adjusted annually by 3.5 %.
• DART will provide a monthly report to DCTA showing the number of trips operated where the peak loads required the additional car


I knew that there was a structure for sharing regional fare revenue, but never knew that DCTA actually paid a (very nominal) fee for DART to run a 3rd car. Assuming 2 peak trains each AM & PM every weekday, that amounts to $250k of annual fees. With the coming capacity for 3-car trains on all DART lines, I'm curious if DART resumes allowing the other transit agencies around the periphery to start dropping their passengers at outlying DART stops for a similar fee?

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electricron
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby electricron » 04 Feb 2021 07:53

TNWE wrote:Interesting nugget from a DART board presentation on the interlocal agreement for cost-sharing with DCTA (Slide 6 of this deck:

I knew that there was a structure for sharing regional fare revenue, but never knew that DCTA actually paid a (very nominal) fee for DART to run a 3rd car. Assuming 2 peak trains each AM & PM every weekday, that amounts to $250k of annual fees. With the coming capacity for 3-car trains on all DART lines, I'm curious if DART resumes allowing the other transit agencies around the periphery to start dropping their passengers at outlying DART stops for a similar fee?

Whether DART will or not will probably depend upon the individual situation. As for DCTA, it runs its' trains over a rail corridor mostly owned by DART, supposedly at no additional costs for DART. That's why DCTA paid to build all the stations, paid to make all the improvements to the track, paid to build the parallel bike path within the corridor, etc. And now why DCTA is paying DART a fee when DART has to run larger trains. It's how the joint operating contract is set up.

While DART might try to charge a similar fee to other independent transit operators/agencies, will they agree to pay the fee? I am not so sure, because DART does not own the streets and highways they run their buses over. DART will probably own the bus bay in the parking lot, but will these other operators/agencies need to use them? Could they just not park and idle on the street? It will all depend upon how their joint operating contract is written.

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TNWE
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Re: DCTA (Denton Co. Transportation Authority)

Postby TNWE » 04 Feb 2021 11:25

electricron wrote:
TNWE wrote:Interesting nugget from a DART board presentation on the interlocal agreement for cost-sharing with DCTA (Slide 6 of this deck:

I knew that there was a structure for sharing regional fare revenue, but never knew that DCTA actually paid a (very nominal) fee for DART to run a 3rd car. Assuming 2 peak trains each AM & PM every weekday, that amounts to $250k of annual fees. With the coming capacity for 3-car trains on all DART lines, I'm curious if DART resumes allowing the other transit agencies around the periphery to start dropping their passengers at outlying DART stops for a similar fee?

Whether DART will or not will probably depend upon the individual situation. As for DCTA, it runs its' trains over a rail corridor mostly owned by DART, supposedly at no additional costs for DART. That's why DCTA paid to build all the stations, paid to make all the improvements to the track, paid to build the parallel bike path within the corridor, etc. And now why DCTA is paying DART a fee when DART has to run larger trains. It's how the joint operating contract is set up.

While DART might try to charge a similar fee to other independent transit operators/agencies, will they agree to pay the fee? I am not so sure, because DART does not own the streets and highways they run their buses over. DART will probably own the bus bay in the parking lot, but will these other operators/agencies need to use them? Could they just not park and idle on the street? It will all depend upon how their joint operating contract is written.


Good point, maybe DCTA is getting a "friends and family" rate because DART has more of an interest in DCTA being successful and part of that means a seamless connection to the Green Line. My read is that DART is charging DCTA the marginal cost of an added train car (maintenance, wear & tear, electricity), which seems reasonable at $237 per car per run, keeping in mind that the overhead costs are the same whether its a 1, 2, or 3 car train.

I recall some conflict with whoever used to run the demand-response service in McKinney/Allen/etc dropping busloads of people at the curb by Parker Road station, and of course there was the ongoing experiment with paid/reserved parking to deal with non-service area riders crowding out Plano residents. My thought is that, once DART can run a max of 8 3-car trains per hour from Parker Road and there's less of a capacity crunch on rush-period trains, it may be in their interest to open the door up to independent operators willing to bring fare-paying customers into the system (without taking up parking spaces) in exchange for a similar fee structure.


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