No sign of Ozzy Osbourne, probably because we were on the A-train and not the Crazy Train. We caught a ride—a free one no less—with thousands of other passengers last week during the Denton County Transit Authority commuter rail?s first week of operation.
The A-train started charging riders on June 18 after a week of introductions to the community. The commuter rail links riders from downtown Denton to Carrollton, where they can hop off and board DART?s Green Line or a DART bus to get into Dallas. The 21-mile corridor includes two stops in Denton, one in Highland Village, two in Lewisville, and ends at the DART Trinity Mills station. DCTA folks tell us they expected around 1,500 riders per day last week but averaged 3,000 to 5,000. Don't forget that rides were gratis.
Years in the works, one of the goals for the A-train is to relieve traffic congestion along I-35E while spurring development around the stations on the route. If our Facebook friends are any indication, few commuters are garaging their vehicles just yet. We hear that the cost-savings (if any) are offset by having to leave at 5:30am and switch trains and buses. The rail service currently uses borrowed trains from the Trinity Railway Express but will eventually operate its own 11 Stadler units with luggage and bike racks.
As far as spurring development, just look out the window at the Hebron stop in Lewisville and you can see the Hebron 121 Station multifamily TOD under construction. The 90-acre, $300M infill multifamily community is the first TOD in Denton County and among the largest in Texas. The initial phase of 234 multifamily, resort-style residences is expected to be completed this summer.