New D-Link Route Comes to You Jan. 29

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Experience the easiest way to explore downtown Dallas on board DART’s new D-Link route beginning Jan. 29. The new route schedule operates seven days a week, every 15 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Ride for free and connect to arts, entertainment, culture and dining. Hop on and off to explore downtown attractions, such as The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas Arts District, Dallas Farmers Market and hotels, restaurants and bars along Main Street and near the Omni Dallas Hotel.

D-Link connects you to DART Rail, the M-Line Trolley and Dallas Streetcar, so you can explore the Bishop Arts District and the walkable Uptown neighborhood entirely by transit.

New Route Map:

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The route comes to you thanks to a partnership between DART, the city of Dallas and Downtown Dallas, Inc.

For more information about the new D-Link route, visit DART.org/DLink or call DART’s Customer Information Center at 214-979-1111.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

Hang up the coat and break out the flannel shirt! The freezing weather will be letting up, at least for now, and it’s a great weekend to explore our vibrant region by DART. There’s lots of music in store, plus some theater and unique exhibitions and performances.

Friday, Jan. 19

“Dueling cellos” isn’t a phrase you hear often, but that’s exactly what 2 Cellos is bringing to The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory tomorrow night. The distinguished, classically trained duo from Croatia have joined forces to provide an entertaining show featuring well-known pop and rock songs, in addition to classical and film music. They’ve even had a hit, of sorts; their video of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” became a YouTube sensation that has been viewed tens of millions of times. It promises to be a memorable evening at a fantastic new venue – which happens to be a short walk from Irving Convention Center Station.

The Garland Symphony Orchestra’s season is themed “Vienna, City of Music!” Tonight, that theme is explore by pianist Lindsay Garritson and guest conductor Piero Romano as they perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major. The concert takes place at the Granville Arts Center, right next to Downtown Garland Station.

 It’s a happening weekend at the Granville – this is also the first weekend of Garland Civic Theatre’s production of The Widow, which runs until Feb. 4 at the venue’s small theater. The contemporary Gothic thriller has all the elements: a beautiful heroine, a twisted antagonist, and an ancient scandal.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Acclaimed favorites Eleven Hundred Springs bring their brand of “outlaw country” to the Granada Theater. Drawing inspiration from classic artists such as Buck Owens and Willie Nelson (with whom they’ve shared a stage), frontman Matt Hillyer and the boys have forged their own sound and place in the local musical landscape. (Original titles such as “Good Times, Hard Livin’” and “Honky Tonk Angels” ought to tell the tale.) With nice weather predicted, you could walk just over a half-mile from Mockingbird Station; or, from the station, you can catch Bus Route 1 (Matilda), which drops you off a block from the theater, or Route 24 (McMillan), which gets you two blocks away.

Sunday, Jan. 21 

It’s the last day of Shen Yun at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The one-of-a-kind show pushes boundaries to connect the audience with ancient China. Combining age-old legend with modern technology, historically accurate costumes with dazzling animated backdrops, the performance celebrates folk traditions as told through classical Chinese dance. Created by a group of elite Chinese artists, the show is an unforgettable journey. The Music Hall is accessible by Fair Park Station. 

This is also your last chance to catch Jurassic Quest, a dinosaur adventure featuring more than 80 ultra-realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors can interact with these huge creatures, learn about them, and even ride a few. In addition to realistic prehistoric scenes, there are lots of fun activities for kids of all ages: T-Rex and triceratops fossil digs, a “Dino Bounce” area with dinosaur-themed inflatable mazes, face painting, dino crafts, and much more. It takes place in the Automotive Building and the surrounding outdoor areas of Fair Park.

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Behind the Tracks: At-grade or Elevated? Where will the Cotton Belt go?


DART first purchased the Cotton Belt corridor and right-of-way from the St. Louis Southwestern Railway in 1990. The corridor and surrounding area has dramatically changed since and will certainly continue evolving when passenger operations begin.

While the initial concept for the Cotton Belt closely followed this specific railroad corridor, the current design concept has areas where the new track alignment would go above the current track profile to accommodate traffic patterns and new or growing developments around the corridor.

So where does the train go when it reaches those developed areas or high traffic roads? Today we’re going to talk about what it means for the train to travel at ground level, also known as “at-grade,” and what it means for the train to be elevated, known as “aerial.”

The Cotton Belt “At-Grade”

The Cotton Belt will have the majority of its track “at-grade.” Meaning that the track will be located on ground level. When the Cotton Belt is traveling “at-grade” there will be points where it will intersect with traffic. Current points of crossings between roads and the Cotton Belt are below. Additionally, intersections near residential areas are expected to have Quiet Zones. These zones reduce the need for trains to blow their horns as they cross through intersections. 

DART has already made significant progress conducting preliminary traffic analysis at these crossings. Based on this analysis, DART has recommended initial traffic mitigation measures for the Cotton Belt. Some of these measures include:

  • Grade Separation
  • Signal and Design Improvements

The Cotton Belt “Aerial”

So what does it mean if the Cotton Belt track is “aerial?”  The route for the Cotton Belt may call for some portions of the track to be elevated or above-ground level to maintain acceptable traffic operations into the future.  The corridor will maintain all grade separations from highways and freeways. When the Cotton Belt is aerial, DART will try to design the structures to reflect the surrounding environment.

For example, DART has produced a complementary design illustrating how the Cotton Belt would cross Midway Road next to the Wheeler Bridge in Addison. 

Keeping Safety Top of Mind

Whether at-grade or aerial, the design of the Cotton Belt is developed with safety in mind. One of DART’s primary goals is ensuring that the eventual route of the Cotton Belt runs safely and smoothly with the flow of traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, and more. Our goal is that the Cotton Belt makes all forms of transit safer – not just for those who ride DART. Whether in the air or on the ground, DART will make sure that the Cotton Belt’s route is one that best balances everyone’s interests.

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DART Helps You Prepare for Winter Travel

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Even though yesterday’s threat of icy weather wasn’t as bad as predicted, DART wants to make sure you’re ready for safe travel this winter — no matter what the weather brings.

Follow the tips below to understand how winter weather might alter your travel:

  1. Familiarize yourself with DART’s two severe winter weather plans
    On DART.org/winterweather, DART outlines its contingency plans for maintaining service to and from each of our transit facilities, should winter weather disrupt normal rail operations.
  2. Stay in the know of DART’s rider notifications and alerts
    DART uses its mobile channels to inform customers of all service disruptions, including winter weather. Sign up for email and text notifications on DART.org and @DARTalerts on Twitter.
  3. Download the GoPass app to make purchasing a ticket easy
    Instead of purchasing your transit passes outside through the Ticket Vending Machines (TVM), buy your tickets from the warmth of the indoors with the GoPass app. The app is free through the Google Play store or the App Store.
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DARTable Fun’s a -Brewin’

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Sure, you’re a beer nerd. You know the difference between a pale ale, a porter and a Hefeweizen, and you’re eager to share this knowledge with your companions. But when it comes to beer, Stephen Beaumont wrote the book.

His latest, co-authored by Tim Webb, is Best Beers: The Indispensable Guide to the World’s Best Craft and Traditional Beers. And several DARTable North Texas brewers get the beer guru’s nod of approval.

Deep Ellum’s own BrainDead Brewing is on Beaumont’s ones-to-watch list; the spacious restaurant and brewpub was founded by three notable local beer nerds, and it’s a short walk from Deep Ellum Station at 2625 Main St. The brewpub’s Foreign Export Stout makes a great winter warmer. BrainDead is a great place to hang out, too, with a terrific rotating roster of in-house brews and one of the best patios in the neighborhood.

Community Beer Co. is another local favorite that makes the cut. You’ll find Community’s ultra-high-quality craft brews in bars and restaurants throughout the region. But why not go straight to the source? Their Design District facility has a taproom that’s open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Try the Mosaic IPA if you’re a die hard hop lover. Did you know that their beers feature their own proprietary strain of yeast? You’ll learn that and a lot more at their open house and tour, conducted every Saturday. Route 749, which runs down Victory Boulevard just across the parking lot from Victory Station, puts you within a block of the esteemed beer emporium located at 1530 Inspiration Drive. 

Peticolas Brewing Company is a heavy hitter in the brewing world, having won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival – twice. At any given time, they may have as many as 30 beers in production. You can sample some of these at the brewery’s taproom, open Thursdays through Sundays; on the first and third Saturdays of each month, you can take a tour and learn about the beers you’re tasting. Velvet Hammer is a favorite; Royal Scandal was one that took the gold. Petticolas is three blocks from Bus Route 63 at 1301 Pace St. in Dallas.

Other local favorites not mentioned in the book include:

Bankhead Brewing Co.,  a charming spot near Downtown Rowlett Station, serves food cooked in wood-burning ovens, and the premium brews come in a wide variety. Traditional German and English recipes get a lot of play here. The inviting space is in a historic setting, and outdoor seating is plentiful when the weather’s nice. Rowlett’s salvo in the beer revolution is at 3840 Main St.

The hip Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery is located two blocks from Downtown Garland Station in the heart of the town square. Intrinsic offers a seasonal selection of its own handcrafted beers, and also keeps a rotation of guest beers and house-made sodas on tap. You’ll find it at 509 W. State St., in the heart of Downtown Garland.

It’s not a brewpub per se, but you’ll find an excellent selection at Plano’s The Fillmore Pub at 1004 E. 15th St., just around the corner from Downtown Plano Station.

And when it comes to great selection, The Ginger Man, two short blocks from the M-Line Trolley at 2718 Boll St., is the grand-daddy of them all; the Uptown institution has been serving nearly 80 beers on tap since 1992.

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What’s DART’s 2018 Resolution? Moving North Texas Forward!


Exploring the region. Making healthy choices. Finding that perfect dream job. Connecting with friends and family. Taking advantage of educational opportunities. Here at DART, we know you have resolutions, and we are here to help you achieve them. We also want to let you know that we have our own resolution: we resolve to being the region’s mobility manager and doing our part in helping move North Texas forward.

A Look Back at 2017

2017 was a whirlwind year for DART and for North Texas. We’ve made significant progress on a number of exciting transit projects, including better bus service, the Cotton Belt and the D2 Subway.  Highlights include:

  • In early autumn, DART submitted a revised Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the D2 Subway to the Federal Transit Administration, seeking a grant through their Core Capacity Program. Guided by the FTA, DART will seek 50/50 funding for the D2 Subway project.
  • DART held a series of Open Houses for the Cotton Belt regional rail line throughout the North Texas region. Missed our Cotton Belt video? Take a look here to see DART’s plan for the Cotton Belt and our vision for how it will continue to make our region more mobile.
  • DART doesn’t just think about future projects. We continually assess our current service and strive to make it better. New bus routes and changes to frequency and service are some of the ways DART is working to meet the needs of our region.

 Resolutions for a Stronger North Texas

 In 2018, DART resolves to continue moving North Texas forward by:

  • Helping North Texas continue to grow and thrive. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area was one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas last year, and the fourth-highest in terms of projected job growth. In order to support the sheer volume of people moving to our area, DART resolves to help North Texas continue to grow and expand to meet this increasing demand in smart, sustainable ways.
  • Expanding economic opportunities. Studies show that investing in public transit exponentially increases local business sales. A wider range of transit options provided by DART helps spur local investment and economic growth, supporting existing jobs and businesses while helping create new ones.
  • Working side-by-side with stakeholders, riders, and the public. In each of the cities we serve, DART works closely with riders and non-riders alike to develop the most effective transit solution to meet local needs. In 2018, we plan on building upon this spirit of collaboration, seeking input from local communities as we continue to expand our reach into new service areas with innovative transit solutions.
  • Focusing on tomorrow, today. DART has been an integral part of North Texas’ story since its inception in 1983. While we value our past and are working in the present to improve regional transit, we are always thinking of the future and how we can best help local businesses, communities, and individuals continue to thrive.

Cheers to 2018! 

North Texans are a diverse bunch—with varying interests, jobs, and transit needs. Maintaining a mix of transit options as diverse as our population in 2018 is essential in helping us all get where we need to go, connect to new economic opportunities, and make North Texas a destination.

DART continues to fulfill our mission to build, establish, and operate a safe, efficient, and effective multi-modal transit system that increases mobility, improves everyone’s quality of life whether they ride or not, and boosts our entire region’s economy.

So while sticking to your New Year’s resolutions may be a challenge, DART is here to make it just a little bit easier. We may not be able to ensure you actually go the gym, but we can make sure you’re able to get there more easily and efficiently. That’s how we’re moving North Texas forward in 2018 and beyond.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

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It’s a three-day weekend for many, and a time for all to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. DART gets you to the area’s MLK Day parades and events, plus some cool exhibits and theatrical experiences.

Friday, January 12

 Jurassic Quest, a dinosaur adventure featuring more than 80 ultra-realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs, opens today. Visitors can interact with these huge creatures, learn about them, and even ride a few. It takes place in the Automotive Building and the surrounding outdoor areas of Fair Park. Get there by taking the Green Line to Fair Park Station.

In advance of Monday’s big parade, the MLK Celebration Fair provides career opportunities, educational resources, medical screenings and access to valuable healthcare information from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MLK Recreation Center; the MLK Candlelight Ceremony happens at 7 p.m. the same evening. The ceremony features keynote speaker Frederick D. Haynes, III, the senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church. The rec center is near MLK, Jr. Station.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Carrollton celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade at 10 a.m. and a program to follow at 11:30 a.m. The parade will start on Rainwater Lane (behind Carrollton City Hall, accessible by Bus Route 531) and ends at Ted Polk Middle School, near the corner of Keller Springs Road and Kelly Blvd. on Route 536.

The Garland chapter of the NAACP hosts the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and March, rolling again through the streets of Garland. The parade begins at Dairy and Garden streets (near Embree Park), which is accessible by bus route 378, departing from Downtown Garland Station. It ends one block from the station. Immediately afterwards, the celebration continues in the main auditorium of Granville Arts Center, right next to the station.

And the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will observe the holiday weekend today through Monday, with extended hours (until 6 p.m.) today and Sunday. There will be gems and volcanoes, boo bubbles and robotics, science trivia and space exploration. It kicks off today with Discovery Days: Geology. Examine minerals, plate tectonics and volcanoes. Participate in mineral testing experiments and digs, make your own volcano and explore the rock cycle. The special activities are free with admission, and there’s lots more – just follow the link. The Perot Museum is a three-block walk from Akard Station.

Sunday, Jan. 14

It’s a good day to catch Pegasus Theatre’s production of A Minor Case of Murder at the Eisemann Center. World-famous detective and aspiring actor Harry Hunsacker enlists his best friend (and paid-by-the-hour assistant) Nigel Grouse and the long-suffering Detective Lieutenant Foster to help solve one of his most puzzling cases ever. Will good win the day, or will the forces of evil triumph? Take the Red Line to Galatyn Park Station and find out.

Monday, Jan. 15

The Dallas MLK Parade draws approximately 250,000 spectators and participants, making it one of the largest commemorative events held in the United States. Participants include elected officials, high school bands and dance teams, car clubs, horses, local businesses and lots more. The parade begins at the intersection of Holmes Street and MLK Boulevard; it will proceed down MLK Boulevard and end at Fair Park. The festivities are accessible via MLK, Jr. Station.

 

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DART Demos New Proterra Zero-Emission, All-Electric Buses

A prototype of DART’s new Proterra Catalyst 35 electric buses is in town for a visit and a final check.

DART Board members and news media explored the all-electric 35-foot bus parked at DART Headquarters Tuesday afternoon, then took it for a ride around the block.

Agency staff are inspecting the vehicle to ensure it matches what DART ordered and identify any design details that may need modifications. Once DART submits its changes, Proterra will build the agency’s seven buses to the updated specifications.

DART was the first transit agency to order a 35-foot version of Proterra’s Catalyst electric bus. Previously, the Catalyst series only included a 40-foot vehicle.

“Over the life of the vehicle, a Proterra battery-electric bus will save DART money on fuel and maintenance, which makes electric buses cost-competitive with those fueled by CNG or clean diesel,” Proterra founder Dale Hill said. “Since our buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, DART gets sustainability as an added benefit.”

The seven zero-emission all-electric buses are partially funded by a $7.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo Program). The grant also helps fund the infrastructure to charge and maintain them.

DART plans to use the electric buses on D-Link, a downtown circulator route currently subsidized by the city of Dallas and Downtown Dallas, Inc. This smaller Proterra vehicle will be easier to navigate through busy city streets and reduce noise pollution downtown. The electric battery technology is similar to what is used on the Dallas Streetcar.

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DART D-Link: Hop on for FREE! Hop off for FUN!

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Whether you’re on your lunch break or painting the town, DART’s D-Link is the easy way to get around Downtown Dallas. The bright magenta-and-yellow buses connect you to arts, entertainment, culture and dining. The best part: It’s a free ride, thanks to a partnership between DART, the city of Dallas and Downtown Dallas, Inc.

D-Link hits all the hottest downtown attractions, including The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas Arts District and Dallas Farmers Market – as well as the hotels, restaurants and bars along Main Street and near the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Additionally, D-Link connects to DART Rail, the M-Line Trolley and Dallas Streetcar, so you can explore both the popular Bishop Arts District and the walkable, energetic Uptown neighborhood entirely by transit.

Beginning Jan. 29, D-Link will run seven days a week, approximately every 15 minutes, from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Customers who need route or schedule information can call DART’s Customer Information Center at 214-979-1111.

Ready for a DARTable adventure? Visit DART.org/DLink.

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A Path for the Future: A Vision for Bus Service

Since 1983, we have worked to develop Transit System Plans that guide our thinking and our planning to create transit projects that best move our region forward. Developing the 2040 System Plan is a collaborative and iterative process that includes forward thinking plans for bus service, rail service, corridor plans, and other larger system projects that all fall within DART’s 20 Year Financial Plan.

How the Process Works

Creating the 2040 System Plan is an iterative process that is completed in phases.

  • Phase 1 consists of creating a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA). Like a yearly physical, the COA is a checkup for the DART system. It looks at DART overall and identifies areas of improvement and potential obstacles the system is working to overcome.
  • Phase 2 will identify potential long-range capital projects, regional opportunities, new policy and program areas, along with the final version of the entire 2040 Transit System Plan.

Optimizing our System

During the COA portion of Phase 1, common themes emerged from customer feedback and public outreach. Themes included:

  • Simplifying the routes
  • Redesigning the bus network
  • Increasing frequency
  • Late night and weekend service
  • Express service and crosstown service
  • Service area expansion.

Taking into consideration this feedback, DART then completed a draft Bus Service Plan and has already begun to implement some of the suggestions. Highlights of this plan include an increased focus on frequency and crosstown routing enhancements that are set to take place in the near future. A couple of potential pilot programs are set to kick-off soon and include, on-call and mobility on demand, regional airport express route, and transit center innovations.

Transformed Service, Transformed Region

DART is always thinking about North Texas’s transportation needs now and in the future, therefore the Bus Service Plan is a living process. That means that DART is consistently evaluating and changing bus routes, frequency and service to best meet the needs of our region. The 2040 plan and the Bus Service Plan allow DART to outline a path of mobility that moves our region forward.

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