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.
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.