A multi-modal transit system that provides mobility, helps shape land use growth, takes advantage of technological advancements and covers more than 700 square miles of North Texas requires detailed short-term and long-term planning.
That’s exactly why DART has developed a series of Transit System Plans over the years to provide the blueprint for DART’s growth and expansion. The plan is regularly updated to meet our region’s changing needs.. Planners, stakeholders, the public, and transit professionals all work together to create a vision for DART’s transit system and how it can better serve North Texans and the region.
Why a System Plan?
Imagine the planning that goes into running the Dallas Marathon. No matter how skilled of an athlete you may be, most folks aren’t able to wake up and run 26.2 miles without any form of preparation. However, with the right training schedule, nutrition, gear, and motivation, a person may successfully cross running a marathon off his or her bucket list.
Similarly, DART must look forward to adapt, change, and expand our transit services to meet the mobility needs of our region. Just like a marathon, it would be almost impossible to successfully run a multi-modal transit system without the right kind of preparation. That’s why DART always looks to the future to outline the steps we need to deliver the best transit service.
A Service Plan Versus a System Plan
|System Plan||Service Plan|
|The System Plan uses up-to-date forecasts on demographics, growth patterns, and travel demands to create a guide for future capital and operating programs.||The Service Plan was the original 1983 vision and is amended regularly to outline specific characteristics of and improvements to the transit system.|
The Transit System Plan is the long-range element of the DART Service Plan. The DART Transit System Plan builds upon and refines the original plan from 1983, taking into account the changing needs of the region and then programming projects, programs and services within the bounds of the DART 20-Year Financial Plan.
Creating and submitting the Transit System Plan for approval by the DART Board is an iterative process that includes developing a draft plan for review by DART cities, the public and stakeholders. After considering comments and evaluating different approaches, the DART Board approves a plan to serve as the guide for all forms of transit by 2040, including rail, bus, paratransit, and innovative services that may entail partnerships with private companies. The Transit System Plan goes beyond transit, highlighting how first- and last-mile solutions can benefit our system and how transit-oriented land use developments can enhance our region’s quality of life.
What Do We Plan For?
Our region is continually changing. Analyzing our current transit system periodically will help account for changes in population, growing employment centers, areas of new development, and changing technology which will affect the way we provide service and how our customers get information and make mobility decisions.
A transit system best serves a region when it can be flexible and adapt to changing transit needs. This plan allows us to allocate funds to improve, streamline, and optimize all forms of DART transit so our region can continue to grow and prosper.
A Path to 2040
We know that there is a lot of information that goes into the 2040 Transit System Plan. That’s why we’re launching a new series, A Path to 2040, dedicated to taking a deeper dive into how we are developing the draft 2040 Transit System Plan, and explaining the path forward for DART and how we will continue to be an integral part of the fabric of North Texas.
Have questions or comments about the 2040 Transit System Plan, email: [email protected].