See Tracks? Think Train!: New public safety campaign promotes safety around rail tracks

PrintA new public safety campaign called “See Tracks? Think Train!” has launched from non-profit education group Operation Lifesaver. The campaign promotes safety for pedestrians and drivers around railroad tracks and crossings.

“Every day someone’s risky behavior around railroad tracks gets them injured or killed,” said OLI President and CEO Joyce Rose. “Our goal with this campaign is to make people think twice before doing something risky or unsafe. Ultimately it’s all about educating people and saving lives.”

The campaign features bilingual radio, print, billboard and television advertisements, including the one posted above.

Facts to consider:
• Every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train
• 908 were pedestrians hurt or killed while walking on or near railroad tracks in 2013 (a 7.7-percent increase from 2012)
• 1193 people were hurt or killed at rail grade crossings in 2013 (a 1.5-percent increase from 2012)
• 95 percent of all rail-related deaths involve drivers trying to beat a train or pedestrians trespassing on tracks

Partners in the campaign include the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the Association of American Railroads.

Learn more about the See Tracks? Think Trains! campaign here and click here for more DART-specific rail safety tips.

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DART to DFW: Meet Frank Crockett, Jr., bus operator

“DART to DFW: Connecting you to the World” is a video series where you get to meet individuals around DART that are helping make the connection to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Look for a new person featured every Tuesday until the opening of DFW Airport Station in August.

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News bits: Fort Worth’s The T welcomes new president

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The T in Fort Worth welcomes a new president to the area. Today is the first day of work for Paul Ballard, who makes his way to Fort Worth after being the CEO of the Nashville MTA and Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Gordon Dickson traveled to Nashville to take a look at Ballard’s work and see what can be expected from it’s new president.

“You’re getting someone who has a high profile in the transit industry,” said Freddie O’Connell, who serves on the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority board. “If nothing else, he has taken Nashville from a city that had the conventional wisdom that there was not a public transportation system to one where it’s now one of the hottest topics around town.”

One of Ballard’s biggest projects in Fort Worth will be the TEX Rail from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Projects such as TEX Rail are seen as key to getting people outside Loop 820 to use public transit.

Fort Worth residents have access to city bus service, the Trinity Railway Express, Denton County’s A-train and connections to DART in Dallas. Yet only about 1.2 percent of Fort Worth’s workers over age 16 — roughly 3,995 people — take public transportation to work, according to 2012 data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

Ballard can address that shortcoming, his supporters say, by getting commuter rail running and improving bus travel times. Because of the improvements he made in Nashville, the supporters said, transit ridership has nearly doubled since he arrived in 2002.

Read the complete write-up about Ballard at the link below.

Nashville to Fort Worth: The T’s new leader [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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Rider Insider: Find things to do this weekend in D/FW

• Ride the Trinity Railway Express (including special Sunday service) to Fort Worth for the Main Street Art Festival this weekend. The four-day festival spans more than 27 blocks from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center while showcasing 213 hand-selected juried artists. As Fort Worth’s largest, free music festival, MAIN ST. features 120 distinct performances throughout the weekend, including local and national entertainment acts and musicians, performance artists, dancers and street performers. Culinary options from local restaurants, beer and wine tastings, family-friendly arts-and-crafts activities and more complete the scene, providing four days of excitement on the historic red bricks of Main Street and throughout the beautiful new Sundance Square Plaza. Information: www.mainstreetartsfest.org

• Ride the DART Rail Green Line to Trinity Mills Station, then DCTA A-train to Downtown Denton Transit Center for the Denton Rosebud FestivalThe annual festival is the City of Denton’s official Arbor Day event, a home and garden show, and community festival hosted by Keep Denton Beautiful, Inc. in April. Each year, the Redbud Festival features dozens of booths from local vendors offering tree and plant sales, gardening products, landscaping and home improvement items, children’s environmental exhibits and activities, and fun festival foods. Festival attendance is estimated between 3,000 and 4,000 people each year. Information: www.kdb.org.

• Ride the D-Link (Route 722) to Lake Cliff Park Saturday for the Oak Cliff Earth Day 2014Included in the day are the birds returning from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center; alligators from John Bunker Sands Wetland Center; honey bees from Texas Honeybee Guild; rescue animals; plants; trees; and the Petting Zoo from The Gentle Zoo. Come one and come all to celebrate Oak Cliff Earth Day 2014 in beautiful, historic Lake Cliff Park. Information: www.oakcliffearthday.com.

Find more events like the Dallas International Film Festival and the Learn 2 Live Green event on our Rider Insider Online Calendar or in the brochures found on DART light rail vehicles or buses.

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See the winners of DART’s 2014 Student Art Contest at the Dallas Museum of Art

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Head over to the Dallas Museum of Art to check out all of the winners of DART’s 2014 Student Art Contest.

The artwork will be on display until April 22nd and is free to all visitors of the museum.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled around town for DART bus 41046, which is displaying the best of show winning poster created by Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts 10th grader Vivien Behrens.

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Photos: Music and arts festivals draw thousands to downtown Dallas

It was a busy weekend in Dallas with the March Madness Music Festival, Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Disney on Ice and more stopping in town and drawing thousands of visitors. See photos from some of the activity above.

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DART to DFW: Meet Patrick Powers, QA project manager

“DART to DFW: Connecting you to the World” is a video series where you get to meet individuals around DART that are helping make the connection to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Look for a new person featured every Tuesday until the opening of DFW Airport Station in August.

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News bits: Arlington’s MAX grabbing headlines across the state

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The Metro ArlingtonXpress (MAX) grabbed some statewide headlines this morning. The Texas Tribune, which is based out of Austin, took a look at the pilot commuter bus service and Arlington’s history with public transit.

Last year, the City Council unanimously approved a commuter bus line as a two-year pilot program, and six months in, the MAX (short for Metro ArlingtonXpress) has begun to draw riders. Supporters are optimistic that the service will prove popular enough to continue beyond 2015. But they are also hoping for something more: that the bus could shift local views on the value of transit and prompt the city to develop a more robust system over time.

The MAX was launched last year in a partnership between the City of Arlington, The T, DART, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Click below to read the complete story.

Afraid It Was Missing the Boat, Arlington Tries the Bus [Texas Tribune]

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New DART board member appointed by the City of Dallas

Michele Wong Krause

The City of Dallas has appointed Michele Wong Krause to the DART board of directors replacing previous Dallas representative William Tsao.

Krause is a former associate municipal judge in Dallas and now an attorney at Wong Krause Law Firm of Dallas. Click here for a complete list of activities and honors Krause will be bringing to the DART board of directors.

Krause will be participating in her second DART board meeting tomorrow, April 8. Click here to see the schedule and agendas for the board and committee meetings.

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News bits: RailwayAge says ‘DART delivers’

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Rail industry website RailwayAge took a look at DART and its history under Gary Thomas in a new feature posted this week titled “DART delivers.”

In the feature, reporter Douglas John Bowen takes a look at DART’s general history, the soon-to-open service to the airport, DART’s modal diversity, plans to expand the customer base and the recent winter weather woes.

In just three decades, or roughly one generation, DART has smashed numerous “conventional wisdom” shibboleths—Texans won’t use public transit, won’t use light rail transit, won’t support LRT, won’t choose to live in urban centers—as it continues to succeed, and grow.

Click on over to RailwayAge to read the complete story.

DART delivers [RailwayAge]

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