STAR Transit launches demand response service in DeSoto, Texas

Nov. 29, 2021
The new service will be free to use through the end of the year.

STAR Transit launched STARNow, a same day demand response service for residents in the city of DeSoto, Texas.

By calling customer service or using the STARNow app, riders can expect a vehicle to arrive at their curb within 15-20 minutes of making the request. Rides are based on availability.

Effective Dec. 1, demand response service will operate Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Route 501 is cancelled with STAR Transit applying those resources to provide timely and convenient rides for its customers. Passengers who have been depending on Route 501 for rides to the DART UNT Station can use STARNow to book travel according to their individualized schedules.

“DeSoto is fortunate to have a partner as hands-on, conscientious, and effective as STAR Transit,” said DeSoto Mayor Rachel L. Proctor. “They have continuously worked with us to come up with the best ways to provide solid mobility and transit options for our residents. Their latest service changes reflect that.”

Given the pandemic and changing transit trends in the region, the mayor noted many riders have moved away from fixed route systems and gravitated to service that comes “directly to them and takes them where they need to go.” It also allows them to request rides on the same day which allows for on-demand travel.

“We agree with STAR Transit that this is a better way to service our customers and hope that the residents of DeSoto take full advantage of this new service,” said Mayor Proctor.

STAR Transit is encouraging use of the new STARNow service by offering free fares through Dec. 31. Effective Jan. 3, rides within the travel zone are $2. Fares for qualified seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities are $1 and children 12 and under remain free. Riders must be 13 or older to ride unaccompanied.

DeSoto residents may continue pre-booking medical trips by contacting the agency’s call center. Fares remain $1 to $12 depending on the mileage.

Riders can book a trip in the DeSoto travel zone in real time via the STARNow mobile app which can be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Play store.

“Riders are truly in control of booking and cancelling rides. Yes, they may call our scheduling agents, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. But the app is easy to operate,” said STAR Transit Executive Director Tommy Henricks. “Once a trip is created, riders will receive real-time updates via text or app notifications and can track vehicle location and estimated arrival time in the STARNow app.”