News bits: Congress passes three-month transportation bill extension

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Lawmakers in Washington are beginning their August break, but not before taking care of some last-minute patchwork on an extension to the transportation bill that ensures money continues to flow to highway and transit agencies.

From the Associated Press:

Lawmakers said they hope the 3-month patch — the 34th short-term transportation extension since 2009 — will be Congress’ last. It extends the government’s authority to process aid payments to states through Oct. 29. Without congressional action, that authority would have expired at midnight Friday.

The bill also provides $8 billion to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund through mid-December. The fund’s balance was forecast to drop below a $4 billion cushion necessary to prevent disruptions in payments to states in early August.

Follow the link below to read more about the long-term bill the Senate passed leaving in the hands of the House to consider this fall.

Congress Passes 3-Month Highway, Transit Aid Patch [AP via Mass Transit Mag]

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Rider Insider: DART your way to fun this weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth

Ride the DART Rail Green Line or Orange Line to Inwood/Love Field Station, then DART Bus Route 529 Saturday to Turn Up! at Dallas Love Field, a unique event for the entire family. Besides FREE admission to the great Frontiers of Flight Museum, families will be able to enjoy these and many other activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.:

  • Exploring a Frontier Flyer airplane and other open cockpits
  • Viewing a living history performance of prominent people in aviation history
  • Experimenting with wind tubes
  • Touring the new terminal at Dallas Love Field
  • Checking out the largest snow removal trucks
  • Discovering other airport equipment and machines that keep the airport running
  • Learning more about the people who keep the airport and runways open
  • Checking out an operating Airport Rescue Fire-Fighter Truck (ARFF)
  • Sampling food from the concessionaries that serve airport passengers

The Frontiers Of Flight Museum is located at 6911 Lemmon Ave. Information:www.facebook.com/DallasCityofLearning.

Find more events like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents LEGENDS or the Sausage Fest on our Rider Insider Online Calendar or in the brochures found on DART light rail vehicles or buses.

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Rider Profile: DART is a transportation asset for Thomas, his service dog

Thomas and his ADA Service Dog

The Americans With Disabilities act celebrated its 25th anniversary this week, and in recognition we meet a DART rider who relies on our service that meets ADA requirements and welcomes all riders.

Thomas’ service dog knows his way around a DART bus. Thomas gets around with a bicycle that includes pull-cart, but on this particular day he hopped on a 428 heading to a job interview. As he loads his bus up front and brings the carrier inside, his service dog waits patiently. Then with a snap of of finger, the dog takes its position underneath a seat and out of the way of other DART passengers. Thanks for riding and the support, Thomas!

Learn more about the Americans With Disabilities Act at ada.gov.

(Photo, information from Lupe Hernandez.)

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DART Art: University of Dallas Station artwork celebrates the university’s 50-year history

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University of Dallas Station is conveniently located north of the University of Dallas campus and north of SH 114. Access to the campus is available via a pedestrian walkway located northwest of the platform. University of Dallas Station is served by DART Rail Orange Line trains. The artwork at University of Dallas Station was created by longtime University of Dallas professor Lyle Novinski.

“The design of the University of Dallas Station is an opportunity to celebrate the university and its 50-year history in Irving. We have sought to establish a connection between the stop and the location through the use of simple brick columns, large metal paintings of the four elements, planted dry-stack stone-bordered landscape areas and ivy-planted walls,” he said.

Learn more about the specific design elements of the Orange Line station.

Columns: The columns give a nod to the campus’ architecture. The brick color and “zipper brick” corner detail used in the station columns echoes the design architect O’Neil Ford used for the university’s well-known bell tower – Braniff Memorial Tower – and other campus buildings. Ford, a leading architect of the American Southwest who favored straightforward ornamentation, developed the unique “zipper brick” detail to express building corners.

Paving: The paving pattern reflects that of the university’s central plaza, which is designed with a field of pavers broken by bands of darker pavers.

Landscape: Stone seat walls create planting areas adjacent to the platform for gathering and shaded seating. The stone size and type matches the existing campus walls. Plant selection and arrangement reflects the native environment as well as the campus palette.

Windscreens: The windscreens serve the joint purpose of paying homage to Ford’s fondness for expressive accents and recognizing the timeless atmosphere of intellectual inquiry that the university represents.

Elemental Portraits: The pedestrian plaza area features four commissioned art pieces designed by the station artist and his son David Novinski. Each represents one of the four natural elements: Earth, wind, fire and water. Novinski said the panels capture “our human instinct to understand the world around us, as well as the elemental ruggedness of the university’s setting.”

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Win prizes, have fun at the FC Dallas DART Scavenger Hunt

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Interested in winning some amazing prizes and having a good time? Grab some friends and head to downtown Dallas Saturday for the FC Dallas DART Scavenger Hunt! Check out the details below.

WHO: Teams of 1-4 people

WHEN: Saturday, August 1st. Check-in begins at 10:30 am. Teams head to the DART Rail at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Wild Salsa (1800 Main St., Dallas, TX 75201)

DART Rail stops include: Mockingbird Station, Cityplace/Uptown Station, Pearl Arts District Station, St. Paul Station, Akard Station and West End Station.
Each of the top five teams will be awarded prizes with the first place wins an Ultimate FC Dallas VIP Match Experience which includes, a field table for four with dinner, River Club passes, VIP parking, pre-game sideline passes and four AdvoCare customized home jerseys.

Visit FCDallas.com/DART for complete details and to sign up your team.

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Have a Staycation Wednesday with DART, KVIL on the Trinity Railway Express

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Staying local for summer break? If so, DART invites you to participate in TRE Staycation Wednesdays. This Wednesday, pack up the kids and head to the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station at 11 a.m. for a train ride to the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. Final destination: the Fort Worth Cultural District.

KVIL’s Leigh Ann and Courtney Kerr will hop on the TRE with you for the journey to the ITC. They’ll help keep kids entertained on the ride. There will also be prizes and giveaways!

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Rider Insider: DART your way to fun this weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth

• Ride the DART Rail Red Line or Blue Line to Union Station Saturday for the Reunion Lawn Party! What better way to celebrate the summer than with a series of backyard parties in the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas? The Reunion Lawn Party will be held the last Saturday of every month (June-September) from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Lawn Party will be hosting local and regional bands on stage, food trucks and local brewers on the lawn, as well as leaving plenty of lawn space for activities and games! Free entry for all ages (just bring some money for food and beverages). No coolers or outside food allowed. Come one, come all! Information: www.reunionlawnparty.com.

• Ride the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station all day Saturday for a celebration of the opening of the Texas Musicians Museum. Tickets are required, and the public is invited. Event hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Ten bands are scheduled to perform during two music sessions. The day includes a self-guided tour of the museum where memorabilia from some of Texas’ greatest music legends is on display. Information: texasmusiciansmuseum.com.

Find more events like Historic Downtown Garland for the Marketplace or the the Dallas Hip Hop Dance Festival on our Rider Insider Online Calendar or in the brochures found on DART light rail vehicles or buses.

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Featured Photo: Traveling Man smiles over downtown Dallas

Thanks to Dallas Morning News reporter Brooks Egerton for this great photo of the Traveling Man near Deep Ellum Station.

This statue, which shows the Traveling Man sitting, strumming a guitar is called “Waiting on a Train.” It is one of three statues that DART commissioned to build around Deep Ellum Station in 2007. Brandon Oldenburg and Brad Oldham won the commission and beat out four other finalists competing for the work. Many years later, these statues can be found in photos across Instagram, Flickr and all across the Internet.

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Zipcar boosts DART partnership with new station location

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Responding to demand and popularity, Zipcar is adding support to another DART Rail station and increasing service at an existing station.

Now available, users can pick up vehicles at Inwood/Love Field Station and another car has been added to the Zipcar spaces at Mockingbird Station.

DART began its collaboration with Zipcar earlier this year in an attempt to solve some of the “last mile” issues surrounding public transportation use.

Zipcars can be reserved any time to members living in or traveling around the greater Dallas area. The hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, a dedicated parking spot for easy pick up and return.

Dallas Zipcar members have access to the five cars along the transit lines and more than 50 Zipcars in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, including a wide variety of vehicle types, such as small compact cars for quick errands, luxury vehicles for business meetings or SUV’s and vans for family day trips. Additionally, members have access to Zipcar’s global network of over 10,000 vehicles comprised of over 50 makes and models in hundreds of cities and towns, airports, and college campuses across the globe.

For more information about Zipcar in Dallas, please visit zipcar.com/dallas.

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From East Dallas to the Coolest Stuff in Texas: The story of DART bus 4434

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DART’s bus 4434 roamed the city racking up more than 600,000 miles over the 12 years it was in service for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. After it was retired and auctioned in 2012, one would suspect this old bus was ready to live a relaxed, retired life drinking iced tea and playing dominoes with the other old timer buses. That’s definitely not the case. Bus 4434 is about to begin its second life as an RV and mobile office for The Coolest Stuff in Texas, a site dedicated to finding and writing about the coolest things this state has to offer.

“It feels like another member of the team,” said Evan Faram.

Evan, along with brother Hayden Faram, Ben Thevenet and Jordan Lee are the brains and brawn behind The Coolest Stuff in Texas (CSTX).

DART comes into play because CSTX was tired of crashing on couches, cramming into cars and mooching Wi-Fi off of coffee shops to keep the site going on the road. To solve this problem, the group bought DART’s bus 4434 from limousine-business owner Gareth Long, who had previously purchased the bus from an auction.

The plan is to convert the bus into a two-bedroom, one-bathroom mobile office and RV equipped with Wi-Fi, a kitchen, television and more. The team is looking for help to get enough funds to complete the project and get out on the road.

From the Kickstarter page:

We have reached a critical make-or-break point in the life of our company and need a little push to get us over this hill. One of the reasons that a crowdfunding campaign makes so much sense for us is that, community is what CSTX is all about. The places we go, the videos we make and the stories we write are not only about, but from the Texan community. If our project is crowdfunded and our content is crowdsourced then we have a community of users that share a bond much deeper than money. Up to this point we have stretched our own funds to support the expenses it takes to create a website like this and keep us on the road, bringing you stories. These Kickstarter funds are needed to complete the conversion of the bus and grow The Coolest Stuff In Texas into a recognizable and respected source on life in Texas.

The team has already framed the inside of the bus, removed the air conditioner, installed a plumbing system, converted the starter to electric and more. They still need to finish out the inside, replace the four rear tires and beef up the electrical system (including installing solar panels) to power all of the gadgets. Learn more about the project and how you can support it below.

See pictures from the bus build.
Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign.
Learn about the bus.
Check The Coolest Stuff in Texas website that this bus will support.

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