Founded in February 2023, Abundance Denton is a grassroots organization that promotes increased access to public transportation and housing in Denton.
According to an article published by North Texas Daily, the organization was created because of “repeated frustrations with the public transportation options within the community.”
During the group’s latest meeting on April 14, founder Kristine Bray expanded upon these grievances. One such concern was the strength of the Denton bus network.
“The roads around Denton are not the best,” Abundance Denton member Cal Roth said. “I think they could be fixed, and I think the bus routes definitely need to be overhauled.”
The Abundance Denton website further details that the community “[needs] a route map that’s easy to navigate and make transfers on.”
Another issue discussed during the meeting was the comfort and safety of Denton bus stops. To address this, Abundance Denton recycles discarded shipping pallets into benches to place at these locations. Bray cites the Chattanooga Urbanist Society as inspiration.
“[The Chattanooga Urbanist Society] identify places that need benches or seating,” Bray said. “They build it, they drop it, [and] so they’ve done fantastic work. And I was really inspired by that because I know that a lot of the bus stops in the city don’t have adequate facilities. So at a certain point, you just have to say, ‘You know, I’m going to do this myself.’”
Other interests of the organization include providing night and weekend transport services, making buses fare-free and one day replacing Denton’s current buses with electric buses. The Abundance Denton website goes into further detail about these plans, where their 45-page policy brief is also available to read. Additionally, the group was recently endorsed by Denton City Council District 3 candidate Paul Meltzer after meeting with him and discussing the policy brief.
“We’re very happy to see that and believe that the city should be concerned about the bus facilities and network that serves our citizens,” Bray said. “Historically, the response from the city has kind of been, ‘Well, that’s a separate agency.’ But it is our buses, it runs on our streets when it fails. When GoZone came in, it was our residents who suffered, and so we believe that the city should be taking a more proactive approach to making sure that our residents have the public transportation that they need.”
GoZone is a ridesharing service provided by the Denton County Transportation Authority. Released in September 2021, the on-demand service was offered as an alternative to fixed-route buses. GoZone also replaced transportation agencies such as Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) Evening On-Demand and Lewisville Lakeway On-Demand.
When asked about how local volunteers could get involved with Abundance Denton, Bray said, “It would be wonderful if we could get the benches painted or decorated. Right now we’ve just been inviting people to sticker or Sharpie up on them, but having partners who can paint them and make them look even nicer would be great.”
Photo courtesy of the organization Stronger Denton
Abundance Denton hosts meetings every Thursday at 6 p.m., with meeting details available through their various social media pages.
Jocelyn Truong can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Featured image courtesy of DRC