First Transit Wins First Rail Contract in North America with the Denton County Transportation Authority

LEWISVILLE, TEXAS (July 20, 2016) – First Transit announces that it signed its first rail contract in North America to provide operations and maintenance services for the Denton County Transportation Authority’s (DCTA) A-train commuter rail line. First Transit is a division of FirstGroup, one of the most experienced rail operators in the United Kingdom.

First Transit and DCTA’s new contract agreement, which covers a period of nine years with an additional five-year option, will go into effect October 1, 2016. The scope of work includes the operations, dispatch and maintenance for DCTA’s A-train commuter rail service.

“We have a great deal of rail expertise in the U.K., and look forward to bringing it to the citizens of Denton County,” said Brad Thomas, president of First Transit. “With our extensive rail operations, including passenger high-speed and commuter, and our strong relationship with DCTA, this is a natural fit.”

The A-train is a 21-mile regional rail system connecting Denton and Dallas Counties. DCTA has five A-train stations; two in Denton and three in Lewisville. The A-train also connects with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) at their Trinity Mills Station in Carrollton where passengers can transfer to the DART Green Line and gain access to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DCTA’s A-train carries more than 500,000 passengers per year. 

“We’re excited to extend our partnership with First Transit to our A-train rail operations and maintenance,” said Jim Cline, president of DCTA. “First Transit’s innovative solutions in rail infrastructure maintenance will enable us to provide enhanced rail services for the many communities we serve.”

First Transit provides transit management services for operations of more than 70 vehicles for DCTA fixed-route and demand-response service; as well as call center management, dispatch, customer service, and staff for all bus operations.

“We are very pleased that the Denton County Transit Authority have awarded us the contract for A-train, our first rail contract in North America. This contract for A-train represents an exciting new development for the Group and we welcome the opportunity to develop and share our rail expertise with a progressive partner such as Denton County Transportation Authority,” said Tim O’Toole, chief executive of FirstGroup. “Our U.S. rail team blends our significant experience in rail in the U.K. with North American transit expertise in both rail and bus. We look forward to building on this success as we explore further opportunities in the sector.”



About First Transit:
First Transit, Inc., a subsidiary of FirstGroup plc, has 60 years of experience and is one of the leading providers of transportation contract and management services in North America, moving more than 350 million passengers annually. First Transit, Inc. provides operation, management and consulting for more than 300 locations in 39 states, Canada, Puerto Rico and Panama for transit authorities, state departments of transportation, municipalities, hospitals, universities and private companies. First Transit employs more than 19,000 dedicated transit professionals. For additional information, please visit

 About FirstGroup:
FirstGroup plc is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America and our services help to create strong, vibrant and sustainable local economies. During the last year around 2.2 billion people relied on us to get to work, to education, to visit family and friends and much more and, each day, every one of our 110,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our passengers.

About Denton County Transportation Authority:
Formed in 2002 and funded in 2003, the Denton County Transportation Authority has been focused on an aggressive service implementation strategy to address the mobility needs of Denton County residents. The central element of their Service Plan is the A-train, which connects with DART’s Green Line at Trinity Mills in Carrollton and provides service to five stations within Denton County. In addition to the A-train, the DCTA provide s bus service in the cities of Lewisville, Highland Village and Denton. The agency carries nearly three million passengers annually system-wide. For more information about DCTA, visit