DCTA considers Denton for Uber partnership

DCTA considers Denton for Uber partnership

DCTA considers Denton for Uber partnership
June 20
22:22 2017

The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) is considering adding Denton to the Uber partnership that gives discounted rides in specific city zones. 

The partnership allows people to receive a $2 discount on Uber trips within designated Uber discount zones Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The discount is applied to the total at the end of the trip.

DCTA is also examining making the discount available on weekends, as well.

“We are considering expanding the program,” said Adrienne Hamilton, DCTA marketing and communications manager. “It is definitely a talk for other DCTA service areas. But right now there are no additional plans confirmed at this time.”

The partnership allows people to receive a $2 discount on Uber trips within designated Uber discount zones Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The discount is applied to the total at the end of the trip. DCTA is also considering extending the discount to weekends.

“The trip must begin and end within the discount zone,” Hamilton said.

DCTA offers service to areas in North Texas through bus routes, the A-train and connect shuttles in Highland Village and Lewisville. The Uber discount helps people get from an area in the discount zone to a bus stop or the A-train.

As long as it is within the days and hours of the discount, if someone in the discount zone wanted to get to Denton they could use Uber to reach the A-train.

If a person in Denton needed to get to Highland Village or a part of Lewisville in the designated discount zone, they can take the A-train to the Highland Village/Lewisville train station and then catch Uber to their destination and receive the discount.

“The discount applies to Uber trips only,” Hamilton said. “There are no additional discounts offered on DCTA bus or train transportation services.”

When DCTA started the connect shuttle in Highland Village in March 2016 they contacted Uber to start the partnership.

The strategic planning and expansion effort is how the partnership idea came about, Hamilton said.

“Leveraging the rideshare program is a key component of that,” Hamilton said. “That kicked off the partner conversation with Uber.”

The Uber partnership began in October 2016 and expanded to parts of Lewisville in May 2017.

“The expanded zone now includes additional medical facilities around Lewisville,” Hamilton said. “It also includes areas east of Interstate 35, that contain additional office and industrial areas that are not currently served by our Lewisville Connect bus route.”

Since the start of the program, Uber drivers had 443 individual trips in the zone with 100 new program riders, Hamilton said.

If the partnership comes to Denton Uber drivers may see an increase in rides, which would increase the money Uber and the drivers make.

“Uber does that kind of stuff all the time,” Uber driver Stephen Harcus said. “They offer certain bonuses to try to meet a need and to try to create a demand.”

Adding the program to parts of Denton without DCTA service would make it more convenient for riders when the weather is bad, Uber driver Tara Radcliff said.

“I have had people trying to get to the train station,” Radcliff said. “When the weather is bad it’s nice not to have to walk to reach the station.”

The Uber partnership has the opportunity to benefit students at the University of North Texas.

If someone without transportation of their own lived within the zone in Highland Village and wanted to attend UNT, they have better access to transportation to reach campus and return home.

Sarah Salazar, a human development and family science senior at UNT, said it would be helpful for students who may live in an area that may not have a bus stop near where they live.

“It’s already hard enough to find parking at UNT,” Salazar said. “If someone has to walk a while to catch the bus they may miss the bus. I think it’s great they are considering expanding the program just here in Denton. It might help students get to class on time.”

Uber was unavailable for comment.

Featured Image: A DCTA bus idly parks behind the UNT Union. The DCTA buses travel several routes across Denton to meet the specific needs of students and community members. DCTA is considering a partnership with Uber that would gives discounts within certain zones. Amber Nasser

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Kaleigh Gremaud

Kaleigh Gremaud

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