A D-Link Comparison: Clean Energy

A DLink Comparison Natural Power

DART understands that giving you the best ride also means looking out for your environment.

Today we’re comparing our new D-Link Proterra buses with our solar-powered bus shelters. Both use clean energy to help you reach your destination.

Two overhead chargers at Convention Center Station give D-Link’s new fleet of buses electric power. Rechargeable batteries store this power. These buses can recharge within 10 minutes and can travel up to 30 miles when fully charged.

In comparison, the lights in 90 percent of DART’s passenger shelters use solar power, and solar panels recharge a battery at the base of the light. In direct sunlight, these panels can fully charge in 6-7 hours of direct sunlight. Once a panel obtains a full charge, it can produce 18 hours of illumination.

The agency also uses 120 freestanding solar lights at bus stops throughout the system.  DART installed a version of these lights called the Bright-Up PV-Stop in the Bishop Arts District. This solar-powered light stands along Route 723 and improves security with dusk-to-dawn lighting and a flashing beacon for stop recognition.

The new Proterra buses received funding from a $7.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo Program), and join the electric light rail trains as zero-emission vehicles in DART’s transit fleet.

Continue to stay tuned this month as we share more interesting facts about DART’s new fleet of Proterra buses.

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A D-Link Comparison: Your Car

DLink Comparison Your Car

DART’s new line of zero-emission D-Link buses can seat 28 passengers, including the driver. That’s a bit more than your average five-passenger car.

This month, DART introduced a new fleet of seven electric Proterra buses to service the D-Link Route.

D-Link runs seven days a week and connects you to arts, entertainment, culture and dining in downtown Dallas.

Hop on for free, share a ride, reduce your carbon footprint and explore Dallas on D-Link’s new line of battery-powered buses.

Stay tuned this month for more interesting facts about DART’s new line of Proterra buses.

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DART Connects SMU Music Student with Big-City Dreams


Southern Methodist University student, Jeff Tullis, stands on the steps of the Sammons Center for the Arts Tuesday July 10. DART connects him to work, school and musical opportunities in Dallas.

When you grow up in a small town, moving to the big city can make you feel like a fish out of water. At least, Southern Methodist University student, Jeff Tullis, says so.

DART helps Jeff bridge the gap between what feels like a big city and the opportunities that lie at heart of Dallas.

Years ago, Jeff built a red road bike from parts because he couldn’t afford a car while paying for school. Now, whether it’s catching a bus on Southwestern Boulevard, hopping on the SMU Express or connecting to the Orange Line at Lovers Lane Station, he combines his DART and bike trips to move about the city.

“Public transit isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for people who lack other means of transportation,” Jeff said. “Having a DART student pass and bike accessibility is the reason I’ve been able to get into the music scene in Dallas.”

With skills in playing the bass and guitar, Jeff starts his junior year at the university’s Meadows School of the Arts in the fall, majoring in double bass performance with a minor in arts management.

He grew up on the south side of Fort Worth and comes from a family of musicians. Jeff said all kinds of music continually played in his home growing up, shaping his interest in music in general rather than a specific genre.

“Jeff picked up a double bass when he was 11 years old, and he’s never put it down,” his dad, Paul Tullis, a violist for the Dallas Opera Orchestra said. “He added electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar, and now, the bass balalaika. But, what I envy deep down is Jeff’s ability to lay down a walking jazz bass line and improvise without even thinking about it.”

Although Jeff remembers spending time in Dallas with his dad, tagging along as his dad played at gigs, Jeff still finds there’s much to discover in the city.

“I still felt like a small-town kid in New York City when I moved here for school,” he said. “Still do, honestly.”

This summer, Jeff gained an internship through the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program to work with Fine Arts Chamber Players, a Dallas organization that provides free classical music concerts and educational activities to North Texans.

During his internship inside the Sammons Center for the Arts, he works as the assistant director of the Fine Arts Chamber Players’ Basically Beethoven Festival, a series of free family-friendly classical music concerts every Sunday in July at Moody Performance Hall.

Whether it’s coordinating concert logistics, rehearsals, audience management or, on concert days, handling sound checks, stage management, musician green rooms and helping with lobby setup, Jeff finds that his internship offers plenty to do.

“He brings a helpful, can-do attitude and demeanor to the job, where he’s been a wonderful representative,” Emily Guthrie, Interim Executive Director for the Fine Arts Chamber Players said.

Jeff said the festival functions as an invaluable asset to Dallas’ cultural scene because it offers free classical music indoors with local professional musicians. And, it’s just a DART ride away.

“People should ride DART to the festival because they don’t have to park or deal with traffic,” he said. “You’re taking another step to reduce your carbon footprint by sharing a bus or train car with lots of other folks.”

Beyond school and work, Jeff finds that DART plays a role in other areas of his life. He enjoys catching a movie at the Angelika Film Center near Mockingbird Station, visiting Haggard Park near the second-to-last stop on the Orange and Red lines in Plano and visiting Deep Ellum with his girlfriend.

Forever may seem like a ways away, but that’s how long Jeff said he plans on improving his double bass and guitar skills. He anticipates that, after graduation in May 2020, he’ll continue to play and write music near Dallas or wherever his work takes him.


The 38th Annual Basically Beethoven Festival continues this Sunday, July 15, at Moody Performance Hall. DART to Pearl/Arts District Station or catch D-Link (Route 722) to San Jacinto and Pearl streets to see the concert. Learn more about the festival at fineartschamberplayers.org.


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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

There’s tons of live music cookin’ on this summer weekend, as well as some fun cultural events. All DARTable. If you take DART to one of these fun happenings, let us know about your experience in the comments.

Friday, July 13

Parrotheads take note! Addison’s Summer Series gets the weekend sailing smoothly with free outdoor entertainment in Addison Circle Park, near Addison Transit Center. Tonight, enjoy the sounds of Fin City, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. If predictions are right, the inevitable singalong to “Margaritaville” will be clearly audible in a three-city area.

Saturday, July 14

Happy Bastille Day! Break out the beret and take the Dallas Streetcar from Union Station down to Bishop Arts District, where Bastille on Bishop will transform the avenue into a French-style celebration. Think wine, food and music, plus many revelers dressed as French stereotypes. Vive la revolution!

For a more all-American experience, head to Downtown Garland Station on the Blue Line. The nostalgic town square is full of mom-and-pop shops, and it’s a few blocks from the station. On Saturday, The Urban Flea takes place, and it’s chock-a-block with vintage finds, cool antiques, crafty wares and live music.

Not enough live music for you yet? The Dallas Zoo Safari Nights concert series promises a wild time, with great bands in a beautiful outdoor setting. Tonight, The O’s – a kind of local supergroup whose members go way back in the Dallas scene – takes the stage. Catch the Red Line to Dallas Zoo Station.

This would be a great night to catch Brad Zimmerman’s My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy. It opens on Thursday, and it will run through July 29 at the Eisemann Center, mere steps from Galatyn Park Station on the Red Line. Part stand-up routine, part one-man theatrical performance, the show documents one man’s struggle to make it big as a comedian in New York.

Sunday, July 15

It’s your last day to catch the Dallas Theater Center’s production of Hairspray, the big and bold musical about a girl’s dream to be a dancer. The family-friendly, kitschy play is at the Winspear Opera House; take any DART Rail line to Pearl/Arts District Station and walk a few blocks, or catch the D-Link.

The Fine Arts Chamber Players are in full swing – or “string” – with their awesome Basically Beethoven Festival, which runs on Sundays throughout July. Today’s theme is Pianos & Percussion; Rachmaninoff and Bartòk fill the program, which starts at 3 p.m. at the Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District. It’s a short walk from Pearl/Arts District Station and is also accessible via the D-Link.

Remember the days before indie rock, when it was called “college radio”? If so, you may be interested in taking in performances from two of the biggest “underground” acts from the ’80s: Violent Femmes and Echo & The Bunnymen. They’re playing a double-bill tonight at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, a short walk from Irving Convention Center Station.



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Moving DART to meet new demands

Transit industry leaders are meeting in Washington, DC this week to discuss how they can respond to the changing expectations of their customers.
This column from DART’s President/Executive Director Gary Thomas
was prepared for the American Public Transportation Association.

By Gary C. Thomas, President/Executive Director, DART

Today’s transit customers are no longer bound by mobility choices dictated to them by transit operators.

This new reality is causing sleepless nights to transit agency leaders everywhere, but Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) sees it as a wakeup call. It’s a new opportunity to become relevant to new generations of riders, and stay relevant to existing customers who are developing new habits and service expectations.

Reaching customers where they live

DART’s customers are the same ones who pick up their coffee made the way they want after ordering it from their phone. They use that same phone to buy a house, furnish it, and stock the pantry with goods delivered to their door.

Transit enters this environment with legacy transit routes and printed timetables tied to permanent bus stops and rail stations. That’s no longer a sustainable operating environment.

DART introduced the initial version of its mobile ticketing app, GoPass, in September 2013. While the agency had been online since 1997, and added smartphone trip planning tools in 2011, the pass was innovative for its time. It was one of the first multi-modal, multi-agency transit fare apps. Two years later DART added links from the app to ZipCar, Lyft and Uber. The initial version of the app has been downloaded more than 900,000 times and has sold about six-million tickets.

A new version of the app, GoPass 2.0, launched in May. We updated the trip planning tools and added new payment functionality – including the ability to load cash to the app — to make it easier for more people to buy passes. The new payment tools are key. The price of a transit pass can be a barrier to access. While transit operators need to be able to raise fares to meet rising costs, we should be using technology to help mitigate the impact of those increases. GoPass 2.0 gives us the ability to cap fares, so customers who are unbanked, or who can only afford to purchase one pass at a time, can take advantage of lower bulk or multi-trip passes available to others. This makes transit more affordable and more available.

We are moving closer to a complete integration of transportation modes – GoPass 3.0 – more fully incorporating transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, along with bike sharing, car sharing and taxis. GoPass 3.0 is scheduled to launch at the end of this year.

Service to match new demands generating ridership

Apps are only as valuable as the service behind them. Evolving our offerings, from bus, paratransit and rail operator to a true mobility management provider, is taking place parallel to the development of new customer tools.

In recent months we’ve added GoLink, a new on-demand mode designed to enhance and expand current DART On-Call zones and introduce transit to previously unserved or under-served areas. It combines the low cost of public transit with the convenience of ride-sharing. Our on-demand buses can carry up to 15 passengers and customers schedule their trips with a mobile app. Launched earlier this year, we are already seeing ridership growth in these areas when compared with the replaced bus routes.

GoPool is another innovation. It is app-based dynamic carpooling, within specific zones. GoPool customers use the technology to arrange one-time shared rides on short notice. This creates a transit option for customers who do not have convenient access to DART buses and trains and are seeking a ride companion who lives and works nearby and has a similar work schedule.

Think Different

Twenty-one years ago, Apple challenged computer users with the slogan “Think different” to reevaluate how they were using personal computers. That’s a good idea for transit today.

Customers show us daily how they want to buy and use goods and services. We can respond with innovation and creativity. Or we can become an afterthought.

Learn more about the changing public transit landscape and what DART is doing about it in these columns by Nathaniel P. Ford, Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (The Imperative of Reimagining Public Transportation) and this article from the magazine Passenger Transport (Leveraging Data and Microtransit Mobility Options to Move People Efficiently).

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Faces of DART: Frederick’s Story

Today, we’re excited to hear more about Frederick Cerise’s story, President and CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System. Faces of DART is diving deep to learn more about how multi-modal transit helps patients, hospital staff, volunteers and visitors access the healthcare services and job opportunities at Parkland Health and Hospital System.

Parkland Health and Hospital System is more than just one hospital.  Started in 1894, Parkland is now one of the largest public hospital systems in the country, averaging more than 1 million patient visits annually. Serving North Texans across the region, Parkland boasts a Level 1 Trauma Center, second largest civilian burn center in the U.S., Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and more than 20 community-based clinics.

DART’s public transit services provide access to these critical health services and facilities that North Texans depend on. Frederick mentions, “Without DART, how can patients get back and forth either to the hospital or to the clinic for services? DART is a big part of our delivery system because access to care involves actually getting physically to our hospital and clinics.”

DART is not just about getting patients to services, it’s also about being a connector, helping employees and patients alike connect to the services they need, ultimately making our region healthier. When North Texas harnesses the power of multi-modal transit, everyone benefits.

Want to hear more Faces of DART stories? Check out Judy Jolley, a commuter who depends on DART to get her to her job reliably every day, or Alexandra Heller-Relayze, who credits riding public transit for less wear and tear on her vehicles and a good work out.

What’s your transit story? Share it with us and you could be one of the Faces of DART! Visit the Faces of DART page to tell us what transit means to you today!

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Photo Feature: A Dallas Icon

Can you spot Union Station?

Thank you Instagram user @kevinhannphoto for sharing this aerial view of Reunion Tower and a train at Union Station.

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Sneak Peek: A Q&A with Cellist Deborah Brooks


Deborah Brooks

Deborah Brooks is a cellist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. This Sunday, she will join flutist Shauna Thompson and pianist Shields-Collins Bray for a performance at the Basically Beethoven Festival, presented by the Fine Arts Chamber Players.

The performance will be held at Moody Performance Hall near DART’s Pearl/Arts District Station.

Brooks is looking forward to performing a Beethoven sonata, which brings back fond memories of her college years. Fine Arts Chamber Players asked Brooks to share her thoughts on Beethoven’s storytelling, her favorite composers, what she would have changed about herself in high school, and more!

Here’s a sneak peek of the interview:

Q: How old were you when you started playing the cello? Why did you choose it and did you learn any other instruments?

A: I began lessons on the piano at age five with my father. While learning violin in the fifth grade, we learned that the one cellist in our little elementary school orchestra was moving away. So, thinking that I would be bored playing the violin another year, I switched to the cello to fill the gap. Then I fell in love with the deeper sounds. I continued piano and theory studies all through high school, which was invaluable in my overall music training.

Q: Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play?

A: Brahms and Mahler. It’s hard to choose between those two. They are both so emotionally complex in their music.

Click here for the full Q&A.

The free 2018 Basically Beethoven Festival continues Sunday, July 8,at 2:30 p.m.  You also can catch D-Link (Route 722) to San Jacinto and Pearl streets to visit Moody Performance Hall. The hall, in the Dallas Arts District, sits a short walk away.

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DART Rolls Out D-Link All-Electric Buses

DART’s buses have changed a lot over the years. The agency now is introducing a new fleet of seven zero-emission electric buses. These bright magenta-and-yellow, battery-powered vehicles are being used for the D-Link route.

D-Link is the easy way to get around downtown Dallas. The buses run seven days a week and connect to riders 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.

The new seven new zero-emission electric buses are partially funded by a $7.6 million grant that also funded the infrastructure for two overhead chargers installed at Convention Center Station. The Proterra Catalyst 35 buses join the electric light rail trains as zero-emission vehicles in DART’s transit fleet.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend


photo from North Dallas Gazette

Lots of DARTable stuff going on out there this weekend, whether you want to beat the heat or enjoy the great outdoors. These are only a few suggestions. Where are you going on DART this weekend? 

Friday, July 6 

If you haven’t checked out Ultimate Dinosaurs at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, today would be a great day to do it. The exhibit unveils a newly discovered breed of dinosaurs. Highlights include 15 dinosaur casts, more than a dozen prehistoric specimens, and lifelike recreations of the dinosaurs in the flesh. Take any DART Rail line to Akard Station and take a short walk to get there.

Saturday, July 7

The first Saturday of the month means Target First Saturdays at the Nasher Sculpture Center. This kid-friendly program gives families a chance to explore a “Big Idea” through a hands-on craft, a take-home activity and a fun scavenger hunt. This month’s Big Idea is “Construction” and the art project is themed “Build-it Boxes.” Ride any DART Rail line to St. Paul Station and walk a few blocks, or catch the D-Link (Route 722), which departs from Pearl/Arts District Station.

In the mood to load up on some fresh summer produce? The Marketplace Garland has got you covered. You’ll also find fresh produce, baked goods, jams, sweet breads, culinary wares and unique crafts. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the heart of Garland’s historic downtown square, a few blocks from the Blue Line’s Downtown Garland Station.

Today is your last chance to catch The Lion King at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The show, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, features awe-inspiring sets, unforgettable music, and great storytelling. The venue is a very short walk from Fair Park Station on the Green Line.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for Movies on the Square in Downtown Carrollton. “Wonder,” an inspiring story of a boy with facial differences, rolls at sunset; get there by taking the Green Line to Downtown Carrollton Station.

Sunday, July 8

Les Liaisons Dangereuses gets its final performance today at Theatre Three. A tale of seduction set in France among aristocrats before the revolution, this classic explores morals and manipulation. The theater is in The Quadrangle; the M-Line Trolley will get you within two short blocks.

The Fine Arts Chambers Players continues their Basically Beethoven Festival, a free concert series every Sunday in July at the Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District. Today’s program, beginning at 3 p.m., is “Diversions & Escapes,” and features a flute trio performing works by Beethoven, Haydn, and more.


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