DCTA releases responses to COVID-19 response survey

Jan. 14, 2021
The agency asked riders to fill out a survey about the agency’s response to COVID-19 and what riders think about using public transit.

In October 2020, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) asked riders to rate and provide feedback on the authority’s COVID-19 safety response to help it continue to keep riders and employees safe.

The survey results provided DCTA with insight into passengers’ view of public transportation during COVID-19 and will help it make the best decisions to continue to keep the system, vehicles and facilities safe for passengers and employees.

The COVID-19 rider feedback survey was available for passengers from Oct. 5-25, 2020. DCTA received a total of 211 passenger responses, which represents 10 percent of the average daily ridership in September 2020. The online survey was available in English, Spanish and the Hakha Dialect of Chin.

Why do people currently ride DCTA?

COVID-19 threw everyone’s daily commute habits for a loop, so some passengers have changed how often they ride and why they ride. Respondents were able to choose multiple options.

  • 38 percent for essential trips;
  • 37 percent for work trips; and
  • 34 percent for leisure trips.

What modes of transit are people using?

With early school closures and updated DCTA service schedules, riders have to be flexible with the changes to get where they need to go. Passengers were able to choose multiple answers for this question.

DCTA says its excited that so many passengers utilized the newly completed A-train Rail Trail during COVID-19, noting this may be the highest trail usage it has seen from recent surveys and is in line with the recent trend of increased trail usage across the country.

  • 52 percent use the A-Train;
  • 36 percent use DART;
  • 35 percent use Denton Connect;
  • 20 percent use the A-Train Rail Trail; and
  • 12 percent use the university shuttle.

Are riders satisfied with DCTA safety measures?

With the onset of COVID-19, DCTA has enhanced its cleaning routines, required passengers and operators to wear face masks when on vehicles, added hand sanitizer stations on all buses and more.

DCTA says many are satisfied with the safety measures and will consider recommendations made on how to improve key safety efforts.

  • 95 percent are satisfied with DCTA using enhanced medical-grade cleaners;
  • 91 percent support the mask requirement when riding;
  • 95 percent are satisfied with the safety signage on vehicles;
  • 90 percent are satisfied with the protection barriers between drivers and riders; and
  • 94 percent are satisfied with the touchless hand sanitizers on vehicles.

Why have people stopped riding DCTA?

Times are tough for a lot of passengers right now. Some may not be able to ride as often or even at all during COVID-19. DCTA says it expected to see the survey results show high numbers of passengers who stopped riding during the pandemic but want passengers to feel comfortable and safe as they ride. Passengers were able to choose multiple answers for this question.

  • Out of the survey respondents, 47 percent said they stopped riding DCTA.
  • 49 percent fear contracting COVID-19;
  • 39 percent are working from home; and
  • 31 percent have concerns about social distancing.

When do people plan to resume riding DCTA?

DCTA says it is not surprised to see that so many people don’t know when they will return to riding.

  • 37 percent don’t know when they will resume riding; and
  • 14 percent will resume riding when the CDC lowers its concerns of infection.