Clarification on fare free access to Connect for TWU students, faculty and staff
July 30, 2012
Beginning Sept 1, Texas Woman’s University students, faculty and staff will no longer be able to use their TWU IDs to ride the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) Connect Buses for free, however other cost-savings options are available.
Historically, DCTA provided fare-free access to TWU facility, staff a…nd students through a contract with the university. The contract terms and rate structure have been in place for over five years. Over the past several months, DCTA and TWU have been in the process of negotiating a contract renewal and fee structure. The cost of the contract had not been increased in over five years despite the fact that usage, operational costs and general public fares had increased. Last year over 50,000 TWU students, faculty and staff took advantage of DCTA’s services. DCTA developed a proposed fee structure that more adequately split the subsidy for access to the local bus service between TWU and DCTA. DCTA still offered a considerable discount per trip assuming similar usage and at a rate consistent with the rate used for other higher education partners. This new rate was considerably higher than in the past and we understood that alternative measures would need to be considered.
Information that was distributed to TWU faculty, staff and students today indicates that the change to the previous access arrangement was DCTA’s decision. Because of the cost increase, TWU and DCTA jointly developed an alternative that still provides students with affordable access to the public transportation network.
Students are still able to use DCTA connect at a significantly reduced rate and will now be able to purchase discounted Connect passes exclusively at the TWU Student Union. These passes will be sold to students in batches of 10 for $7.50, thus making the rate for students $.75 each way – half of the regular fare. Students who do not purchase these passes must pay full fare upon boarding the Connect bus service. These Connect 10-ride ticket books will be available in the Student Union (room 209) beginning August 30, 2012. Faculty and staff will be required to pay the full fare, which is $1.50 each way. For those that utilize DCTA services on a regular basis, the University Pass program would be a beneficial option. These passes are available online through the TWU portal. For those faculty and staff utilizing Connect bus service only, the Annual Connect Pass is available at a 30% reduction from the Downtown Denton Transit Center with a TWU employee ID.
We look forward to continuing to provide a valuable service to the TWU community. We are open to dialogue. Send us your questions or comments via email at email@example.com or through Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for riding.