Think you know the Cotton Belt? Test your knowledge!


Are you a Texas public transit expert? Test your knowledge by checking out our DART Daily every Friday for a new Cotton Belt Question! North Texas’s newest regional rail line, The Cotton Belt, will stretch from Plano to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and will open up our region, providing economic benefits, and making North Texas even more accessible to residents.

Check out the link below to see if you can guess the right answer!

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DART to Honor 2017 Student Art Contest Winners at DMA Ceremony

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DART’s 2016 Student Art Contest best of show winner, Kassandra Castañeda accepts a certificate at the DMA ceremony last year. Castañeda created her piece as a fourth grader from Frank Guzick Elementary in Dallas ISD.

Few people can say they’ve exhibited original, creative work at a major art museum. This Saturday, DART will honor 28 area students who can make that claim.

The winners of DART’s 2017 Student Art Contest will step into the limelight this weekend during an awards ceremony at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorium.

Families, friends, teachers, members of the creative community and DART staff will be on hand to honor these young people whose art best illustrated the theme, “The adventure starts here.”

NBC 5 news anchor Deborah Ferguson is scheduled to emcee the event. Winners will receive prizes from more than 30 donors, including the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. A reception will follow.

The DMA’s display of the 28 winning pieces remains on Level M2 of the museum April 18-30.

As a special treat, the DMA invited the winners and their families to stay and explore the museum’s special exhibition, México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde, following the ceremony and reception.

The 19th annual DART Student Art Contest attracted 2,246 entries from students in kindergarten through 12th grade from throughout North Texas.

Congratulations to all the young artists gaining recognition for #DARTStudentArt2017.

For more information about the contest, visit DART.org/ArtContest.

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The Anatomy of a Subway: Understanding Portals

Building an underground rail line is complicated. But it’s interesting to see how it’s done.  In this series, “The Anatomy of a Subway,” we’ll explore the different subway construction methods that will make the D2 Subway a reality.

If you’ve been to our public meetings you’ve heard the D2 Subway team discuss different elements of the subway’s construction; including portals. There are two types of portals:  pedestrian portals to access subway stations, and train portals. This part of the series focuses on train portals, which are the entry points and the exit points of subway cars from underground to the surface.

Just like DART Rail traveling between Pearl and Mockingbird stations, the D2 Subway will be underground as it travels through downtown Dallas and will be at the surface at either end to connect to the rest of the system. If you’ve had the chance to use the trains in New York, Chicago, Washington, Paris, London, or other major cities, you know what we’re talking about.

See the map below to view the proposed train portal locations for the three alignments, Elm, Commerce, and Pacific.

Constructing train portals will be an essential step in building the D2 Subway. Research and thoughtful engineering will allow DART to construct a safe exit and entry for the D2 Subway.  Below, we’ve illustrated what a portal looks like:

As you can see, a train portal is not a pedestrian portal to enter a subway station. We know that all the engineering elements that go into constructing this public transportation feat can get confusing, so make sure you catch the rest of our “The Anatomy of a Subway” series to learn more about our newest transit project!

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Sign Up for DART’s 2017 Bike to Work challenge

National-Bike-Month

DART, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and Richardson Bike Mart are hosting the second annual Bike to Work Challenge in May to help encourage riders to use bicycles as an alternative to driving.

Participants must log their daily bicycle commute activities from May 1 to May 31 through NCTCOG’s free Try Parking It website at http://www.tryparkingit.com. Participants in the challenge will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card to Richardson Bike Mart.

Residents of DART cities; Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Richardson, Rowlett, Plano and University Park, or cyclists who have a work destination that begins with the “75” zip code are eligible to participate.

DART customers can ride their bikes to rail stations and use more than 140 bike lids to store their bicycle or take advantage of bike racks on every bus and train. Bicycles are allowed on all DART vehicles, Trinity Railway Express trains and Dallas Streetcars.

Learn more about DART’s Bike to Work Challenge and National Bike to Work Day, May 19, by visiting http://www.DART.org/bike.

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How Does Government Affect Public Transit?


Public transportation is shaped by the legislative and regulatory decisions made by elected officials in the local, state, and federal governments. From the Department of Transportation to local city councils, public transportation agencies must abide by rules to fund, develop and construct new public transportation projects. For example, government officials can make decisions on funding, and rules for managing and regulating public transportation.

Public Transportation Impacts on the Federal Level
Our federal government routinely makes policy that affects public transportation in cities across the United States.

FAST Act: In 2015 Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act provided long-term transportation funding. This $305 billion investment in our nation’s infrastructure meant an 18 percent increase in federal funding for public transportation. Cities had access to funding to create larger public transportation projects they originally could not pursue without this funding. The FAST Act is the first federal law in a decade that provides long-term funding certainty for transportation projects like the D2 Subway.

President Trump’s Budget Preview:  President Trump released his initial budget proposal for 2018 proposing intense cuts to funding for public transit expansion and improvement projects that could halt or slow public transit projects across the nation. This budget preview proposes a 13-percent cut to the Department of Transportation.  This cut would limit funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grant Program (CIG). DART continues to pursue funding for the D2 Subway from the CIG program to help cover the project’s estimated total cost. DART will continue to investigate other federal funding options if President Trump’s budget is passed by Congress and funding for the CIG Program is cut.

Public Transportation Impacts on the State Level
The Texas State government routinely makes policy that affects public transportation across the Lone Star state.

Bills currently under discussion in Austin could produce a large impact on public transportation, specifically on new commuter rail projects in Texas, like the Cotton Belt. This bill would require all towns and localities accepting federal dollars for a commuter rail to gain voter approval before accepting dollars or even including the project in the region’s long-range transportation plans. If just one town does not give approval, commuter rail transportation projects could not move forward to accept federal funds.

Public Transportation Impacts on a Local Level
Local government and officials can determine policy that affects public transportation in our region and North Texas.

Dallas Sales Tax Diversion: Some Dallas city council members propose using a portion of the one-cent sales tax Dallas pledged to DART and transferring it to the broken Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. DART could lose approximately $35 million in annual revenue if this resolution is passed by the city council, and ultimately by Dallas voters. This loss would force DART to cut service and jeopardize capital projects – like D2 — within the city of Dallas, leaving approximately 25,000 daily DART customers in Dallas with fewer public transportation options.

Legislation and public policy shapes and guides the way public transportation operates. It is the way our government attempts to accomplish goals based on social, political, economic, and environmental aspirations of the society it represents. That in turn can have an impact on virtually every individual, group or business in the country.

DART must abide by transportation policy all the way from the federal level down to the local level. Understanding the impacts of this policy is important in order to create the best transit plan for North Texas now and in the future.

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MegaFest Returns to Dallas in June

 

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MegaFest comes to Dallas for the third time from June 28-July 1, and DART is the official transportation provider. The four-day faith and family conference will be held at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

There’s plenty in store for this year’s attendees, including:

  • Uplifting content from speakers who inspire and sessions that transform.
  • Empowerment sessions featuring topics such as technology, culture, fashion, and healthcare.
  • A faith and family film festival.
  • Practical workshops, shopping, exhibits and more.

“We’ve got wonderful people from around the world coming to speak on a plethora of subjects and issues,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes. “It’s a family affair, and there is something for everybody. Whether you’re a part of the faith community or not, you’re invited to participate.”

MegaFest organizers expect the event to draw up to 100,000 people, and say that DART was a deciding factor in bringing the conference back to North Texas.

DART will not only move attendees among venues, airports and hotels; it will also connect them with restaurants, shopping, museums and other local attractions.

To learn more, visit DART.org/MegaFest.

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DART police officers, teamwork honored at awards ceremony

DART Police Department paused to recognize individuals’ actions during their annual ceremony April 18. Dozens of officers and staff received recognition and praise for their bravery, dedication and outstanding performances in 2016.

Individually recognized were Fare Enforcement Officer Zachary Lacey as Staff Specialist of the Year, Officer Theresa McClellan as Officer of the Year, Sgt. Tony Hinojosa as Supervisor of the Year and Lt. Kevin Lindsey as Manager of the Year.

Chosen as Team of the Year was the National Night Out team of Officer Melanie Cade, Officer Eva Pipkin, Officer Justin Ellis, Lead Telecommunicator Brenda Lee and Police Specialist Mary DeLira.

The ceremony included a special tribute to officers and individuals thrust into precarious situations on July 7, 2016 when an armed gunman began shooting at El Centro College near three DART properties: West End Station, Central Business District West Transfer Center and Rosa Parks Plaza.

DART’s first Medal of Honor was bestowed posthumously to Officer Brent A. Thompson who was tragically killed that day. Thompson also received the department’s first Police Cross.

Medal of Valor awards were given to Officer Kristopher Stewart, Officer Lee Canon, Officer Robert Craig and Officer Kristopher Carter. Police Commendations went to Lt. Don Hyder, Sgt. Chris Hunt, Sgt. Tori Hutchins, Sgt. Crystal Parker, Detective Joseph Stinson, Officer Shamika Sorrells and Police Specialist Michelle Killinger. The Life Saving award was earned by Officer Kristopher Carter, Officer Kristopher Stewart and Officer Temple Kramer.

Four officers were shot that day. In recognition, the Police Shield was presented to Officer Misty McBride, Officer Lee Cannon, Officer Jesse Retana, and, accepting the award for Officer Brent Thompson was his wife, Officer Emily Thompson.

Certificates of Merit were presented for excellence in police performance to Sgt. Richard Tear, Sgt. Cesario Rodriguez, Sgt. Homer Hutchins, Sgt. Keith Austin, Cpl. Luevada Campbell, Officer Stacy Glover, Officer Johnathan Williams-Cooper, Officer Anthony Rhodes, Officer James Varney, Officer Christopher McGee, Officer Dakari Davis, Telecommunicator Angela Masterson and Telecommunicator Krysta Davis.

Letters of Commendation went to Sgt. Stephen Jones, Sgt. Warren Mays, Sgt. Billy Rawlinson, Cpl. Gary Hutchison, Officer Christopher Cobb, Officer Wayne Walston, Officer Melanie Cade, Officer Dana Hartfield, Officer Melanie Serrao, Officer Laquana Towery, Officer Delia Allison, Officer William Ouellette, Officer Justin Ellis, Officer Richard Moore, Officer Douglas Huse, Officer Miguel DeLeon, Officer Geno Maya, Lead Telecommunicator Brenda Lee, Telecommunicator Mimi Bowman, Camera Monitor Steve Wiggins, Camera Monitor Robin Payne, Monica Robledo-Jones, Angel Velez, Sonia Garcia and Jean Haertel.

Non-police department employees recognized with the Chief’s Award were Morgan Lyons, Nancy Johnson, Laneshia Hawkins, Daniel Washington, Marty Durston, Josefina Chavira and Yvette Martinez.

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DARTable Fun for All this Weekend

Activities this weekend

There is no shortage of entertainment this weekend. Check out these DARTable activities:

Addison Circle Art Festival
The first annual Addison Circle Art Festival is Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. The event will showcase more than 25 artists, music, and children’s activities. Art ranges from oil paintings, sculptures, photography to fine handmade jewelry. Several artists will be conducting a live painting demonstration.
Addison Transit Center 

Spring concert on the square
The Rumble Kings, a local rock ‘n roll cover band, is performing Saturday in Downtown Carrollton, from 6-8 p.m. Come and sing along as they cover artists like Elvis, Johnny Cash, SRV, Straycats, Hendrix, and everything else that rocks and rolls.
Green Line to Downtown Carrollton Station

 Plenty of food trucks will add spice to date night
Fresh Maine seafood, Gourmet Italian, Cajun and Cuban are a few of the cuisine offerings to be available from 10 different food trucks at Saturday’s “Date Night in the Park” at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and admission is free.
Green Line to Downtown Farmers Branch Station

Celebrate Garland’s history
Downtown Garland will celebrate its rich history from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, during the fourth annual Garland Heritage Celebration. Enjoy musical entertainment, historic and comedic lectures, and fun for the whole family.
Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station

Canal Fest celebrates diverse cultures
Irving thrives on diversity, and this outdoor festival brings fun, food, music, and culture to the beautiful Mandalay Canal. This year’s event is from 2-8 p.m. Saturday and features live music, international dance performances, an indoor art exhibit, free family-friendly activities and attractions, and much more.
Orange Line to Las Colinas Urban Center Station

Plano Artfest: Built around artistic
This free community event in Downtown Plano features live music, contemporary art installations, performances from local arts groups, a maker’s market of craftsman and artisans, family chalk art, a kid’s zone and more. The festival begins this Saturday, from 5-11 p.m. and continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Take Red or Orange line to Downtown Plano Station

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Go Green with DART at Earth Day

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“Think globally, act locally” might be a cliché, but at this years’ Earth Day Texas Expo and Conference, you can do just that.

The fun and engaging annual event takes place April 21-23 at Dallas’ historic Fair Park. It’s gearing up to be the biggest one yet, with 150,000 expected attendees and approximately 850 exhibitors.

DART is one of those exhibitors. Take the Green Line to Fair Park Station and learn more about public transportation in North Texas and how you can easily incorporate DART into your daily life.

Earth Day Texas brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts along with live music and sustainable beer and food pavilions.

This annual event creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for thought and experiential learning while encouraging attendees to be the change they wish to see in the world. To learn more about the speakers, exhibits and initiatives at Earth Day Texas 2017, visit http://earthdaytx.org/.

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Decisions, Decisions! Choosing the D2 Subway Route


Determining the right route for the D2 Subway is a process.  The good news is that DART is on its way to determining a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) that DART will submit to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in September. Today, we’re taking a deeper look at each of the three primary corridors and streets the D2 Subway could run parallel to below-ground.

But before we get into the nitty gritty, some of you may ask:

Why is the D2 Subway important?

The D2 Subway is in development because it will:

  • Increase capacity to our strained light rail system in downtown Dallas.
  • Provide even greater flexibility for the DART system as a whole by connecting different modes of transit at critical points, continuing service during repairs or incidents and adding service to new areas.
  • Enhance mobility and provide access to even more riders now and support our growing region for years to come.

What are our options?

We’ve mentioned before that DART identified and evaluated exit and entry points for the D2 Subway. The Technical Committee and the Stakeholder Committee recommended the Swiss Avenue and the Victory Right-Of-Way (ROW) option to advance to advance with a short-list of alternatives.  DART continues to work with stakeholders in the Deep Ellum area to ensure the east connection fits with the vision of the area and still meets DART’s needs. Below are the three alternatives that DART will continue to develop further with both the Swiss Avenue and the Victory ROW options: 

  • Pacific Street: For this alternative, the D2 Subway would actually be built underneath Pacific Street along the existing light rail corridor. Although this may reach a market area as we do now, this option could be beneficial causing less disruption to businesses and services above ground. DART headquarters and the East Transfer Center are located along this corridor, which means that DART’s own property could be used to build the D2 Subway.
  • Elm Street: The D2 Subway could run parallel to Elm Street underground. This route for the D2 Subway would be one block south of the existing corridor.
  • Commerce Street: The Commerce Street option would connect from the Victory option and run approximately 9,900 feet until it connects to the Swiss Avenue option. The D2 subway would be approximately three blocks south of the existing corridor.

Interested in Learning More?

What do you think about these three alternatives?  Curious to find out where potential stations might be located? Have thoughts on a connecting streetcar alignment? Come to today’s public meeting:

When: Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
When: 12:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Where: DART Headquarters, Board Room, 1401 Pacific Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202
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