GoLink and GoPool: DART Service Gets Personal

GoLink Shops at Legacy 12-1-17 - 1

Reimagine what it means to connect to the places you want to go. DART’s new line of “Go” services give you more options and flexibility to complete your trip.

GoLink is a new service that combines the low cost of public transportation with the convenience and technology of ride-sourcing. These on-demand buses can carry up to 15 passengers. Service will begin Feb. 26 in Rylie, Kleberg and the International Inland Port of Dallas, a huge freight trucking and rail hub in southern Dallas County.

Introduced last fall as a lunch pilot in Plano’s Legacy area, GoLink will expand to full service next month and cover a larger area. Two other zones also will be added in Plano: North Central Plano in March and Far North Plano in August. GoLink replaces the current North Central Plano On-Call service.

In addition to GoLink, the agency is introducing GoPool – a dynamic carpooling service facilitated by DART. This pilot program is designed to solve the transportation gap in areas where fixed bus routes aren’t viable. The pilot will launch later this month in southern Dallas County and in Plano’s Legacy area.

Both services are fueled by technology. Initially, GoLink customers will download the TapRide app and then select the GoLink/DART option. With the app, they can request a GoLink ride and track the location of the bus in the app – like they can with private ride-sharing services.

These projects are supported by a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox program.

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Keeping DART Safe for Everyone


A key part of our mission at DART—to build, establish, and operate an efficient, and effective transportation system—is ensuring a safe riding environment for the North Texans using our system as well a secure system for the cities and communities we serve.

That’s why DART is always working to improve and enhance safety and security across our entire system, incorporating new, innovative technologies and security features to partnerships with local communities, charitable organizations, and law enforcement.

Strengthening our Security

Late last year, our board of directors approved a number of initiatives to improve safety and security.. Here’s just a peek at some of the things we’ll be doing in the coming months—or that we’re doing already—to enhance the security at our facilities and on DART buses, light rail, and commuter lines:

  • Spending $1.7 million to hire an additional 30 security guards to service the entire system.
  • Adding security cameras to our trains. So far, 48 trains have them. Another 50 will be installed next year.
  • Maintaining the existing cameras already installed on all DART buses.
  • Building on our initiative last year to increase the presence of DART police officers and armed security guards in major transit facilities.
  • Continuing to promote the Say Something Safety and Security app that we first introduced in November 2017 (which you can download from the App Store or Google Play).

Protecting Young Riders

Another way DART is working to improve safety and security across our system is by partnering with local community organizations, programs, and initiatives.

DART works in collaboration with the Safe Place Program, partnering with Jonathan’s Place, Dallas County’s affiliate agency for the national program. In addition to providing safe places for at-risk youth to turn, the program focuses on educating “thousands of young people, families, and community agencies every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own.”

All a young person in one of these situations needs to do to get help is simply tell a DART police officer or any uniformed DART employee that they need a safe place, and the employee or officer will coordinate with the proper organizations to help get them to a secure location.

Using the System Safely

In addition to our various security initiatives, we also believe that we can make DART safer together—after all, this is our DART.  The Say Something app is a valuable resource for riders to use if they see something suspicious in or around the DART system, but there are a number of other tips and tools for passenger safety and security that are important to know as well, including:

  • Staying alert and being aware. As easy as it is to zone out during a commute, it’s much better (and safer) to keep an eye on your surroundings.
  • Keeping valuable items out of site. Don’t make it easier for a criminal to “snatch and run” by leaving cell phones, tablets, or other devices out in the open.
  • Keep personal items under your control. Hold onto purses, bags, packages, or briefcases always—this will also ensure you don’t leave anything behind accidentally.
  • Report safety concerns. Even if you don’t have the Say Something app yet, you can still report any incidents or suspicious behavior to the DART Police by texting 214-256-1819, or calling 214-928-6300.

By taking just a few proactive steps, you can help ensure a safer, more secure ride—not just for yourself, but for everyone. Get more bus and rail safety tips by visiting DART.org.

Throughout the year, we’ll continue to work on new initiatives that keep North Texans and the communities we call home safer and more secure.  That will mean technological improvements and enhancements, but it will also require a little extra awareness from us all. Together, we can truly move North Texas forward—while keeping our entire region safe.

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Help DART Preserve Lives

Trafficking2018_ARBOC_Domestic

Though National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is over for another year, the battle against trafficking has just begun. Trafficking takes many forms, including domestic servitude, forced labor and the sex trade.

It also affects people of all backgrounds. Victims of human trafficking can be young or old, male or female, of any ethnicity — it could happen to anyone.

In fact, it’s the fastest growing crime in the world, and victims don’t always stand out from a crowd. That is why DART is urging its riders to spot the signs — and end the exploitation.

Here are some clues that a person could be a victim of human trafficking:

  • Shows signs of physical, psychological or sexual abuse
  • Acts fearful, anxious, depressed or submissive
  • Appears deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other basic needs
  • Always accompanied by a controlling individual
  • Seems to be coached on what to say or how to act
  • Lacks identification or documentation
  • Has little or no possessions
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Uses a prepaid cell phone or carries an excessive amount of cash
  • Seems unwilling to give their address or other personal information

DART doesn’t want to see another life stolen, so it is important to learn and recognize these signs. You could be the difference-maker for a person trapped in modern-day slavery.

To report suspected trafficking, call 1-866-347-2423.

For victim support, call 1-888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to BeFREE (233733).

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Wakanda: Your Next DARTable Adventure

There’s excitement in the air. And, for all of you superhero fans out there, you know exactly why that it is.

It’s opening day for what some are calling Marvel’s record-breaking movie of the year: “Black Panther,”  and the hype continues to move into the weekend. From watch parties to cosplay events in North Texas and across the country, people are celebrating the release of the film in epic proportions.

Whether you’re near Garland, Farmers Branch or Dallas, DART’s your ride out of this world and into the movie’s fictional setting of Wakanda… or at least to the big screen.

Hop on, and let’s go to the movies. Learn how DART can help you travel to the following theaters in our service area:

  1. Studio Movie Grill at Northwest Highway, near Irving
    Hop on the Green or Orange Line and ride to Bachman Station. From there, transfer to Bus Route 528 and ride to the Technology East at Connector stop. Studio Movie Grill at Northwest Highway in Dallas sits at 10110 Technology Boulevard and is a 3-minute walk away.
  2. Cinemark 17 & IMAX Theatre, near Farmers Branch
    Take the Green Line to Royal Lane Station and, from there, hop on Bus Route 532 to the Forest at Webb Chapel stop. The theater sits at 11819 Webb Chapel Rd and is a 2-minute walk away.
  3. Highland Park Village Theatre, Dallas
    Ride the Red, Orange or Blue Line to Cityplace/Uptown Station then transfer to Bus Route 036. Ride to the Preston at Mockingbird stop and the theater sits at 32 Highland Park Village and is a 2-minute walk away.
  4. AMC NorthPark 15, Dallas
    Take the Red or Orange Line to Park Lane Station. Then, hop on bus Route 702 and ride to the NortPark Mall at East Entrance stop. The theater sits at 8687 N Central Expressway and is a 4-minute walk away.
  5. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Dallas
    Hop on the Red or Blue Line and ride to Convention Center Station. This Alamo cinema sits at 1005 South Lamar Street and is a 7-minute walk away.
  6. Alamo Draft House Cinema, Richardson
    Take the Orange or Red Line to Spring Valley Station then hop on Bus route 400. Ride to the Belt Line at Inge stop and the cinema is a 2-minute walk away.
  7. AMC Firewheel 18, Garland
    Ride the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station, then hop on Bus Route 513. Ride to the Horseshoe and Crist Road stop and AMC Firewheel 18 sits at 100 Coneflower Drive and is a 2-minute walk away.
  8. United Artists Galaxy Theatre 10, near Garland
    Ride the Blue Line to LBJ/Skillman Station and transfer to Bus Route 374. Ride then to the Executive at McCree stop and United Artists Galaxy Theatre 10 sits at 11801 McCree Road and is a 4-minute walk away.

For trip planning assistance and more information on how to ride DART to these locations and more, visit, DART.org or call DART’s Customer Information Center at 214-979-1111.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

There are some unique cultural offerings this weekend – Chinese New Year celebrations, a fascinating historical tour and a stage performance based on a popular website and art project. There’s more, too, and it’s all DARTable.

 

Friday, Feb. 16

It’s the third Friday of the month, which means Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art. Tonight, there’s a special Chinese New Year/Year of the Dog theme with music, art making, martial arts demonstrations, dog-themed tours, and sessions on accordion-style bookbinding, Asian textiles and the Chinese Zodiac. Plus lots more!  You can get there by taking a short walk from St. Paul Station or catching the D-Link (Bus Route 722). The DMA is also served by the M-Line Trolley.

This weekend finds the 2018 DFW Auto Show in full swing at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The much-anticipated annual event continues through Sunday, offering the perfect opportunity to compare the styles and pricing of every major car line. More than half a million square feet of vehicles is all under one roof. Convention Center Station puts you right there, without the hassle and expense of parking. The D-Link (Bus Route 722) is also a good bet; it runs on Sundays now, too.

Saturday, Feb. 17

Valentine’s Day may be over, but don’t tell it to Guy, Teddy Riley, Ginuwine or Jagged Edge. The “new jack swing” stars are hosting a Valentine’s Love Jam at The Music Hall at Fair Park, and the 90s-style party is sure to put you in the mood for love. Be prepared to dance as they fill the air with their unique, swing-influenced brand of R&B and hip-hop. Fair Park Station is only a couple hundred feet from the action.

A unique performance concept is happening at the Eisemann Center this weekend. PostSecret: The Show is a public art project where people confess their secrets on homemade postcards; these are then posted on the PostSecret website, which to date has received half a billion hits. This stage adaptation, full of humor and humanity, takes you on an immersive trip. Multimedia projections and images, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through narratives based on the personal stories we usually keep to ourselves. The Eisemann is a few hundred feet from Galatyn Park Station.

Update: The Chinese New Year Festival is a free event hosted by the Crow Collection of Asian Art.  Due to inclement weather, all performances and activities for the festival have been moved to the NorthPark Center and will be from 11am-7pm. There will be Chinese entertainment, including must-see cultural performances: dragon and lion dances, a Chinese dance troupe and more. NorthPark will host a special Dallas Symphony Orchestra Ensemble performance featuring – of course – Chinese music. Get to NorthPark Center by taking the shuttle (Route 702) departing frequently from Park Lane Station.

If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss Hidden History DFW’s African American Tour – a three-hour exploration of more than 20 historic sites tracing the African American experience in Dallas. From the days just after the Civil War through the creation of the vibrant hub of black culture known as Deep Ellum, you’ll learn how African Americans changed Dallas. These tours are only conducted occasionally; if it sounds fascinating, better jump on it. (Another tour is being conducted next Saturday, Feb. 24.) The tour starts right at J.B. Jackson Transit Center, served by four bus routes and adjacent to MLK, Jr. Station.

Sunday, Feb. 18

The WaterTower Theatre presents its last performance of the regional premiere, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. The title character is a Marine Corps hero back from Iraq. His father was wounded in Vietnam, and his grandfather fought in Korea. Three generations of combat experiences are woven together as Elliott’s mother comes to grips with the emotional wounds of war. The theater is a short walk from Addison Transit Center, served by more than a dozen bus routes.

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DART to Fun this Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re looking for a fun activity to reconnect with that someone special, or a memorable first date adventure, these DARTable destinations are sure to make sparks fly this Valentine’s Day.

Bowling is a timeless way to let the good times “roll,” and with almost 50 lanes, a huge selection of beers on draft, a café and a staging area for live music, Plano Super Bowl offers a new kind of bowling experience. It’s next door to the Downtown Plano Station.

Get lost in the magic of live theater at Addison’s Water Tower Theatre. This mainstay in the local scene offers an array of plays and other entertainment – from classics to the latest works by emerging playwrights. It’s within steps of the Addison Transfer Center.

For an interactive date, head to Escape the Room on Bus Route 36 to the corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane. It’s a great experience to see how well you work together. To escape the room, you have 60 minutes to locate hidden objects, find clues and solve puzzles.

Whether you want to laugh, cry, cringe or scream, grab a seat and order a meal at the Alamo Drafthouse. A short walk from Irving Convention Center Station, this trendsetting movie house opens in February at Irving’s Toyota Music Factory.

Share laughter and good times at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub in Dallas. The club sits steps from Mockingbird Station. The popular adult’s only venue attracts the hottest up-and-coming talent – locally and nationally.

For more DARTable date night ideas, visit DART.org/DARTable.

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A DARTable Valentine’s Day on D-Link

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Link to love and let D-Link be your ride this Valentine’s Day. Hop on for free and hop off to explore downtown attractions with your someone special.

Pink Toes Nail Bar & Spa
Turn Valentine’s Day into a day of pampering and ride D-Link to Pink Toes Nail Bar & Spa at 111 South Field Street in downtown Dallas. Whether it’s a mani-pedi, a facial or a relaxing massage, the spa’s services cater to both men and women. D-Link can drop you off at the Griffin and Lamar stop and the spa is just a short walk away.

Restaurants on Main
Whether you’re looking for appetizers, dessert or a full course meal, the restaurants on Main Street offer some tasty eats. You can visit Wild Salsa, Chop House Burger or Porta di Roma to name a few. Ride D-Link to the stops along Main Street to experience these restaurants first-hand. You can also visit Downtown Dallas Inc.’s Main Street District dinning page to discover more restaurant options.

DFW Auto Show
If beautiful cars and trucks make your heart race faster, take your sweetheart out to the DFW Auto Show, which opens Wednesday, 4-10 p.m. Held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, the DFW Auto Show boasts more than half a million square feet of new cars, trucks and SUVs from every major line and make under one roof. D-Link can drop you off at either the entrance or the covered Convention Center Station.

Restaurants on Lamar
And while you’re in the Convention Center District, enjoy dinner, drinks and dessert at the Restaurants on Lamar, located just across from the Omni Dallas Hotel. Whether you’re looking for tasty bites, a hand-crafted cocktail, or a local brew, enjoy the ambiance of downtown and delight your palate at one of seven restaurants: Biergarten, Black Ship Little Katana, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Café Herrera, Coal Vines, Texas Spice and The Owners Box. Ask the D-Link operator to drop you off on Lamar Street at Ceremonial Drive.

Remember, D-Link now has a new route that runs seven days a week, every 15 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. D-Link also connects you to other DART services, the M-Line Trolley and th Dallas Streetcar.

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Path to the Future: How DART plans its next destinations


DART regularly studies the North Texas area and determines what areas would be viable options to consider implementing regional transit infrastructure, such as the Cotton Belt or the D2 Subway. These areas are called potential transit corridors. They are generally linear areas that can be made better with enhanced transit choices.

How DART evaluates corridors in the 2040 Plan

There are many factors to consider when identifying potential public transit corridors. And, it can take years to advance a major project.  That’s why DART thinks about them far in advance when proposing potential larger transit projects.

How does DART choose? Great question! With so many ideas for expansion, DART undertakes a Corridor Screening Process. Using a range of criteria that are important locally or used by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DART evaluates alternatives to find those with the highest potential. Below are just a few of the evaluation criteria DART has when screening potential transit corridors:

  • Ridership Potential
    • All corridors should possess the ability to draw in and serve a substantial population.
  • Cost-Effectiveness
    • Cost is a factor DART considers when building new transit project. Making sure we balance cost with benefits keeps our transit system effective and sustainable.
  • Transit Competitiveness Index
    • Transit planners use this tool to understand where transit would be most competitive and to help determine how to allocate resources and service.
  • Population Density
    • Current and future population is important since that is where we draw our ridership from. Understanding where people live and how they would benefit from transit is important when considering new corridors.
  • Employment Density
    • Businesses of all sizes set up shop in North Texas. But how can we ensure that the transit infrastructure is in place to serve these workforce centers? Understanding employment density is critical as part of transit’s role is delivering residents to jobs and enhancing their job opportunities.
  • Right-of-Way Availability
    • Is there space for a new corridor? What is traffic like near a potential corridor? Is there space in the street or existing rail? These questions must be answered as DART maps out new public transit corridors.
  • Engineering Complexity
    • Different corridors can present a diverse set of engineering challenges. Soil, geography, underground utilities and above ground structures can present obstacles when building public transit projects.
  • Land Use/Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Potential
    • Attractive transit corridors have an opportunity for development opportunities. Transit can drive new investments and mixed-use areas where people can live, work, and play.
  • Environment/Community
    • DART considers the environment and surrounding community when evaluating a potential transit corridor. DART seeks to find corridors where transit can fit seamlessly into the surrounding landscape and community.
  • Public/Agency Support
    • Collaboration among the public and DART is paramount when choosing a new transit corridor. Ideal transit corridors are those that best balance everyone’s interests and brings the greatest amount of benefit.

A map of initial corridor alternatives evaluated by DART is below.

Thinking ahead with expansion in mind

A strong inter-connected multi-modal system will allow North Texans to move flexibly and comfortably around the region. Mapping out corridors will help DART and local communities remain mindful and thoughtful as we plan ahead and think about how transit can help shape the continued growth of our region.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

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photo from gooakcliff.com

There’s a cultural weekend in store, with a film festival, a unique performance, and the closing of a popular musical. And don’t forget Mardi Gras! Take DART to discover these cool events.

Friday, Feb 9

The DFW South Asian Film Festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. There’s a world premiere, six international premieres, two U.S. premieres – you get the idea. It adds up to 19 short, documentaries and feature films. The theme this year is family – parent/child stories, films with children as central characters, and portraits of South Asian families in Europe. The screenings for Feb. 9-11 are at the AMC Village on the Parkway.  To get there, take Bus Route 463 to Montfort and Sakowitz; the bus departs from both Addison Transit Center and Downtown Garland Station.

Throughout the year, Garland presents free movies – no ticket required — at the Plaza Theatre, a short walk from Downtown Garland Station. To make the deal even sweeter, candy and other concessions are only $2 each. Tonight, it’s the classic ‘90s rom-com, Sleepless in Seattle. The movie starts at 7 p.m. Popcorn, candy, soda and water are available for $2 each.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Put Your Love on Top starts today and runs through Feb. 18. Create a date night to at one of Dallas’ most romantic spots: Reunion Tower’s GeO-Deck. The package includes VIP treatment, a framed picture of you and your sweetie, a champagne toast, and much more. You can catch the Red or Blue line, plus the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to Union Station, then take the pedestrian tunnel to Reunion Tower.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Mardi Gras Texas Style! is a one-of-a-kind music festival in the Automobile Building in Fair Park. Food, beer, lots of beads (of course) and 20 of the Texas’ finest country music acts are the ingredients that make this gumbo a great party. Take the Green Line to Fair Park Station, and laissez les bon temps roulez!

Bone Hill: The Concert is a unique performance with renowned blues and soul singer Martha Redbone at its center. The concert at the Eisemann Center concludes her week-long residency at the UTD School of Arts & Humanities; it features student vocalists as well as an interdisciplinary theater performance with original music by Ms. Redbone and company. The epic exploration of Americana includes just about every classic American musical genre – including traditional Cherokee chants. The Eisemann is right next to Galatyn Park Station.

Sunday, Feb. 11

The Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade is the largest and most diverse event held in Oak Cliff. From schools and churches, to service organizations and neighborhoods, the celebration captures the character of Oak Cliff. The parade starts at the corner of Windomere Avenue and Davis Street, goes through the Bishop Arts District, and ends at Melba Street. You can get there by taking the Dallas Streetcar to the Bishop Arts stop.

It’s your last day to catch the Firehouse Theatre’s presentation of the wildly popular Forever Plaid. This nostalgic revue is chock-full of classic barbershop quartet harmonies and pitch-perfect melodies including “Sixteen Tons,” “Heart and Soul,” “Chain Gang,” “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” and many more. The theater is a short walk from Farmers Branch Station.

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Behind the Tracks: How North Texas’ Geography Impacts the Cotton Belt


North Texas may not have mountains but it does have a variety of terrain and soils. So why are we discussing landscape in our newest Behind the Tracks post? Because the geography of the region influences the Cotton Belt design and construction process.

Why Does Geography and Geology Matter?

Building a regional rail line like the Cotton Belt is a huge undertaking; especially since the train’s tracks will span over 26 miles traveling through six different cities. That means DART will have to account for different geological features and soil types.

Along the corridor, most soils have moderately to severely restrictive conditions, which can shrink and swell just like how some home foundations in north Texas are affected by shifting soils. These conditions will affect how DART constructs the track, bridge foundations, and station platforms. DART will also have to design bridges for several stream crossings and over the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, which have different underlying geology than other parts of the corridor.

Taking all Variables into Consideration

DART will continue to study the Cotton Belt corridor, and is developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to identify existing physical and natural conditions along the corridor, and the potential impacts and benefits of the Cotton Belt. This EIS will provide DART with critical information on the potential issues that may affect design and construction of the project, as well as outline how DART can mitigate potential impacts to the community and the surrounding environment.

What’s Next for the Cotton Belt?

DART is continuing to develop the Draft EIS in collaboration with its federal partners, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), while providing regular updates to the DART Board of Directors. An Administrative Draft EIS will then be reviewed by FTA, FAA, and FRA.  Once the Federal agencies have reviewed it, DART will publish the document and collect comments during a 45-day period. DART will then compile comments and prepare the Final EIS.

Getting all the necessary information matters when pursuing projects as large as the Cotton Belt. Understanding what is going on along the corridor before we start building, can ensure that the Cotton Belt remains safe, sustainable, and solid for future generations.

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