FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kim Britton, VP, Planning & Development
STAR Transit updates routes, services in east Dallas County;
Cities are in lockstep in-forward thinking partnership.
Terrell, TX – The Cities of DeSoto, Mesquite and Balch Springs are joining with STAR Transit in announcing service updates effective Oct. 1, fine tuning options for public transportation in east Dallas County that improve efficiencies and affordability.
“We are listening carefully to our riders and the public to better understand their needs,” said Tommy Henricks, Executive Director. “Convenience and timeliness are important to all of us, and this is why we are encouraging use of our easy to use app, STARNow.”
Henricks continued, “Our partnering cities are truly the ones who are helping to make our transportation services available in their communities,” Henricks continued. “STAR Transit is NOT funded by sales tax revenues. Cities like DeSoto, Mesquite and Balch Springs are generous with their funding that supports safe, affordable and convenient transit services for their residents.”
Currently, there are two demand response buses, Monday-Friday, operating from 6 am to 6 pm., and one fixed route bus (DeSoto) Route 501, Monday-Friday. Effective Oct. 1, a third bus is being added with funding by the city’s Section 5310 grant for Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities.
“DeSoto has been working closely with STAR Transit since 2018 to better meet the mobility needs of our residents. While the existing fixed route and demand response services are working well, we determined that we could improve service for our Seniors and persons with disabilities by providing additional demand response transit opportunities,” noted DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan who also serves as Chair of the Best Southwest Partnership’s Transportation Committee. “Adding a third demand response bus allows us to meet the peak time demands and gives added flexibility to enhance demand response service at times when our seniors and others are faced with important last-minute appointments that they absolutely must get to.”
Effective Oct. 1, Mesquite’s STARNow hours include new Saturday service from 8 am to 5 pm. Monday through Friday, hours are 6 am – 8 pm. COMPASS hours remain the same.
“These additional hours of transit service will provide new opportunities for our residents in terms of access, employment, education and more. We are proud to be partners with STAR Transit,” said Mayor Bruce Archer.
No changes are being made to Demand Response service and MTX Route 101. Route 102 ceased current operations, with STARNow being in place to give riders more flexibility.
Mayor Carrie Gordon reflected on her early engagement with STAR Transit when she pushed to locate a primary care facility in Balch Springs and responded to pleas by senior citizens for transportation to medical appointments. Service with one bus was launched, and her vision of providing accessible transportation is now a reality.
“I am so proud to see the expansion of STAR Transit into southeast and southwest Dallas County, particularly knowing that it all started here,” said Gordon. “Our Demand Response and MTX Route 101 bus service continues, plus we are excited about launching the STARNow service, giving our riders more flexibility to meet their transportation needs.”
Due to FedEx’s adding of shifts at its southeast Dallas County Distribution Center, service hours are being extended on Hutchins Shuttle Route 401 on Saturdays and Sundays. When the extended hours launch later in October, the shuttle will run seven days a week (Monday through Sunday); 5:30 am to 11:59 am and 4 pm to 12:29 pm.
STARNOW APP IS FREE
The STARNow app is free and may be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Pay store. Trips may be scheduled for immediate pickup or for later on the same day. Payment may be made by credit card or in cash at the time of pick-up. Once a trip is created, riders will receive real-time updates via text, phone call or app notifications and can track vehicle location and estimated arrival time in the app. If a person does not have a smartphone, a trip may be booked by calling 877-631-5278.
About STAR Transit. Founded in 1988, STAR Transit is the fourth largest transit agency in the North Central Texas region—and the largest not funded by sales tax. Revenues are derived from federal and state grants as well as local partnerships with cities, counties and businesses. STAR Transit provides safe, affordable and convenient transportation to the general public, seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities for access to jobs, healthcare, personal services, retail, and entertainment, etc. More than 100 employees are responsible for providing over 235,000 rides annually. The agency is headquartered in Terrell, TX. For more information, visit STARtransit.org.