It seems everything these days is smart: phones, watches, appliances, cars. And now: smart public transportation. DART is integrating technology into our multi-modal system, making it more reliable and flexible than ever before. This week, we’re taking a closer look at how DART is leading the way for smart transit across the nation.
DART is on the cutting edge when it comes to the vehicles that transport thousands of North Texans every day.
- Light Rail Cars
Each DART light rail vehicle is the first-in-class example of modern rail technology. Unlike its freight cousin, DART’s light rail non-polluting cars are powered by electricity from overhead lines. North Texas’ light rail system requires AC electric power that is then converted into DC energy. DART’s variable voltage power distribution system is one of a handful in the entire nation.
- Electric Buses
DART recently introduced seven electric buses into their fleet, providing free rides on the D-Link route. These buses are zero-emissions, re-charging at the Dallas Convention Center after each 19-mile service loop. These buses can re-charge faster than your smart phone! That’s right, once the buses pull into the station, batteries located on the top and bottom of the buses fully recharge in less than 10 minutes. While the purchase price is initially expensive, these buses are projected to save $300,000 to $400,000 in fuel costs.
- Potential Vehicle for the Cotton Belt
DART thinks tech-first when it comes to designing new transit projects, including the vehicle for the Cotton Belt line. DART is considering using a light-weight rail vehicle designed to be environmentally friendly and community friendly—with less emissions and less noise than traditional commuter rail cars.
We’re also thinking smart when it comes to our payment and information systems. The recently re-booted GoPass allows new payment methods including debit, credit, and cash to pay or re-load passes. Additionally, the GoPass wallet can store value that can be used to purchase tickets not just for DART, but for the TRE, Trinity Metro, and the Denton County Transportation Authority.
Easy to use features, like the “Touch ID,” ability to send receipts to an email address, quick saves for favorite stations and stops, and real-time vehicle arrivals and departures puts DART at the forefront of public transit information technology. Click here to learn more about the new GoPass.
Leading the Charge
DART is committed to making our entire transit system is flexible, reliable, affordable and smart. Integrating technology into our vehicles, our engineering, and our information systems can help make North Texas more mobile now and for the future.