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Media Relations Contact:
Amanda Wilson, NCTCOG
Arash Mirzaei, NCTCOG

August 22, 2014

Region's bus, train riders asked to provide input to improve system

Transit Agencies Continue Surveys to Gauge Demand, Meet Needs

August 22, 2014 (Arlington, Texas) - The next phase of a regional transit survey intended to help planners better understand the demand for rail and bus service throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area will begin in late August.

Passengers of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), jointly operated by DART and The T, will be asked to participate in two types of surveys over the next several months. DART and TRE passengers participated in these studies earlier this year, but more input is needed to meet the goal of capturing responses from 10 percent of riders.

As with the first phase of the project, two types of surveys are being conducted. Stop-to-stop surveys are meant to determine demand. Bus passengers will be given cards when they board and asked to return them when they get off. Rail passengers will be asked at what station they plan to depart.

The interview phase will seek more detailed information. Passengers will be asked by surveyors to provide specifics about their trips and fares, as well as demographic information.

The surveys will be conducted in the following phases:

  • Late August to late September - DART and TRE passengers will be asked questions as part of the supplemental interview surveys.
  • Early September - Passengers of DCTA, including its Connect bus service, UNT shuttle system and A-train, will be asked to participate in stop-to-stop surveys.
  • Mid-September to early October - Stop-to-stop surveys will be conducted on The T's buses.
  • October and November - Interview surveys will be conducted on The T and DCTA vehicles.
The surveys are completely voluntary and answers will be kept confidential. Questions regarding the passengers' starting locations and destinations will provide details about why people are choosing transit and paint a picture of how the system is used. The survey information will allow transit agencies to adequately plan future transit expansion.

"The Dallas-Fort Worth region continues to grow, but not uniformly. This survey allows us to pinpoint where transit demand is strongest and direct resources to those areas," said Arash Mirzaei, senior program manager for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "This leads to a better transit system and ultimately a more effective transportation network providing multiple options for people who live, work, visit and go to school in North Texas."

This $1.5 million survey is a cooperative effort funded by the transit agencies ($900,000) and NCTCOG ($600,000). Before this project began, the region's transit passengers had not been surveyed since 2007-08, and the transit system has expanded significantly.

DART recently opened light rail service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, bringing its light rail network to 90 miles. The T is working to connect transit passengers to DFW Airport from the west by 2018 with its planned TEX Rail commuter rail service.

In 2011, DCTA introduced the 21-mile A-train commuter rail line connecting Denton with DART's Green Line in Carrollton. For more information about the survey, visit www.nctcog.org/survey2014.

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions.

NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 240 member governments including 16 counties, 170 cities, 24 school districts, and 30 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.

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