New Vision for Bus Service


We know that we can’t rely on just a single mode of transit to meet all of our region’s needs.  That’s why DART works to provide a healthy mix of all different transit options, such as light rail, commuter rail, buses, and paratransit to build a dynamic and connected transportation system that serves our entire region.  We also partner with public and private entities to provide services such as D-Link, the Dallas Streetcar, and site specific shuttles that link with key job and entertainment centers.

With more than 652 buses and 11,973 bus stops in 13 cities, DART is committed to making our service convenient, flexible, and easy to use so we can continue connecting not just riders but our entire region. Here are a few ways DART is making our bus fleet and the area’s bus service the best it can be:

  • Connecting the dots. When our community asked for more bus transportation options we worked with the City of Dallas to open a new downtown bus circulator, the D-Link! The D-Link provides more opportunities for connection between DART’s different modes of transit and with different stops allowing residents even more flexibility as they move around the region. This is just the latest example of where we’ve stepped up to provide expanded bus connections in our service area. Earlier this year we added bus service in Plano to connect with the growing Legacy Business Area.
  • We’ve upgraded. DART has replaced almost our entire fleet of buses with new, environmentally friendlier CNG-fueled vehicles. What is CNG? Good question! CNG stands for compressed natural gas, which is a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels.  This means that our buses can run on a more reliable and cleaner form of fuel.
  • There’s an app for that! Want to know up-to-date info on bus times and quickly purchase a pass? DART is always looking to incorporate technology to keep our transit system on the cutting edge; we have the GoPass app for mobile phones and travel tools to track your bus or train.
  • Continuing education. Maybe you’re a light rail rider and need a little extra help figuring out DART’s bus service. Maybe you’re a car-owner interested in transitioning to public transit a few extra days a week to catch up on work and cut down on gas. Or perhaps you’re a business owner that wants to give their employees all the info they need to catch the bus and get to work on time. Regardless, DART’s Travel Ambassador Program is here to help! This program provides free travel orientation to anyone who needs a little extra help using public transit or is new to our bus system.

How are we focused on continued improvement? With all these improvements, is DART finished improving our bus service? No way, we’re just getting started! In addition to those CNG buses, we’re introducing some electric buses into our fleet. We’re expanding our bus service, including more frequent trips especially during midday and on weekends. While the majority of our bus service is south of I-30, we want to ensure that people who start their trip via bus can find their way to employment centers located anywhere.

Whether improving access to commerce, retail, employment, healthcare, or education, DART is constantly reviewing how we can improve or adjust all kinds of transit service to better serve North Texas.

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DARTable Things to do on a Rainy Day

Kids boarding on cloudy day

 

North Texas has seen a lot of rain this month, but don’t let a few clouds keep you indoors. There are loads of DARTable places to go.

What exactly does DARTable mean? It means unique places around the Dallas area that you can reach via DART trains and buses. So grab your umbrella! Here are a handful worth leaving the house for:

Addison’s Water Tower Theatre features an array of plays and other entertainment in a state-of-the-art facility – from classics to the latest works by up-and-coming authors. It’s an acclaimed mainstay in the local theater scene, and it’s within steps of the Addison Transfer Center.

If you’re looking for a little adventure, check out the North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center, an indoor rock climbing facility housed in historic grain silos. Located near Downtown Carrollton Station, this facility has programs for all ages and ability levels.

Who doesn’t love a good book? Located in the Bishop Arts District and accessible via the Dallas Streetcar, The Wild Detectives is a funky book store that offers a small selection of titles ranging from bestsellers to poetry. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a good read and a cup of coffee or a local brew.

The Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch is a community theater company that transformed the city’s historic Fire Station #1building into a performance space. The troupe’s family friendly offerings include musicals, dramas and comedies. The venue is located a few blocks from Farmers Branch Station.

Arcade enthusiasts will love Garland’s Nickelrama, home to one of the largest selections of pinball machines in DFW. After a nominal entrance fee, the games range from one to six nickels each. So, step back in time and watch your dollar last for hours of fun. Take the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station, and jump on Bus Route 400 or 566 to the intersection of Belt Line and W. Brand roads.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas is the largest equestrian sculpture in the world, and it draws visitors from far and wide. But you may not know about the free, adjacent Mustang Museum. Free to the public, this museum features a wealth of information about the development and creation of the sculpture. It’s a short walk from Las Colinas Urban Center Station.

From Broadway musicals to lively concerts to breathtaking ballet, Richardson’s Eisemann Center for Performing Arts presents over 450 events a year. This much-acclaimed performance venue is located at Galatyn Park Station.

Check out more fun things to see and do at DART.org/DARTable.

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How Does DART Support North Texas’ Workforce?

Have you ever wondered the role DART plays in helping folks get to and from their workplace?  Today we are giving you the numbers and breaking down DART’s role in helping North Texans travel safely to their places of employment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us there are about 2.6-million jobs in the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division, which includes jobs located in cities and communities outside of the DART service area. Here at DART, we’re proud that every major employment destination is located inside the 700-square-mile DART service area and includes downtown Dallas, Las Colinas, CityLine, Plano, and Addison.

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • 2.6 million total jobs in Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan District
  • 1 million jobs are within walking distance of DART Bus and Rail
  • 400,000 jobs are within walking distance of DART Rail
  • 220,000 passengers per day

DART’s goal is to get North Texans wherever they need to go safely and affordably.  We know that connecting residents with their places of employment benefits not just individuals but our entire region.  Relieving congestion, supporting our workforce, and stimulating economic growth are critical benefits a multi-modal transportation system can provide. That’s why DART’s committed to developing new large-scale transportation projects, like the D2 Subway and the Cotton Belt, along with optimizing our bus network, to make sure North Texans are connected to their communities and their jobs.

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College Factual Credits DART Access for Improving College Affordability

Recently, USA Today College published an online article from College Factual, a website that helps college students identify affordable higher education.

Two schools that made the top 10 list are Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the University of Dallas in Irving. Both of these schools are in the DART Service Area. College Factual cites University of Dallas Station as a major selling point for UD.

“The campus is only about 10 miles from downtown Dallas, and there is a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) station near the campus grounds.”

SMU, which is located near Mockingbird Station and served by two bus shuttles, also is very DART-accessible.

You can read the entire article here.

Transit provides reliable transportation, reduces commuting costs
Transportation is one of the key costs of attending college, and lack of transportation is reportedly one of the top reasons students miss class.

DART has a bus stop or rail station within walking distance of more than 30 North Texas trade schools, colleges and universities, so it is possible to progress from community college to a doctoral degree without owning a car. To make travel to and from campus more affordable, DART offers reduced fares to full-time college students who possess the proper DART-issued student ID.

If the college or university participates in the DART Higher Education Pass Program, students obtain a semester DART Pass from the school – usually the parking office. If the institution does not participate, those students may take advantage of DART’s Reduced College fares. In both cases, enrollment must be verified at the beginning of every academic semester and the pass updated at the DART Store in Downtown Dallas.

Learn more about DART’s college pass programs:
DART.org/collegepass
DART.org/students

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

til-midnight-nasher-2

photo courtesy of nashersculpturecenter.org

It’s shaping up into a very DARTable weekend. We’ve got crafts than can float, a boy who can fly, and a bona fide Eagle. Are we missing anything? Let’s jump in:

Friday, July 21

It’s the third Friday of the month, so that means ’til Midnight at the Nasher is happening tonight. As always, there will be a live outdoor concert with great local talent and a film screening. There are also social media scavenger hunts, progressive tours, and, of course, the greatness of the Nasher collection. Wolfgang Puck Catering offers bar services, snacks and tacos, which are pretty great, too. Bryce takes the stage at 7 p.m., and the film – 2016’s Sing Street – starts at 9 p.m. It’s free! Take DART Rail to St. Paul Station or catch the D-Link to get there.

Saturday, July 22

The DFW Boat Expo features the latest deals on the newest models and brands of boats and boating equipment. It’s a great event if you’d like to own a boat, but don’t have a fortune just laying around. The expo is at Dallas Market Hall, a short walk from Market Center Station or right on Bus Route 749.

Former Eagle and Grammy-winning solo artist Don Henley will celebrate his 70th birthday tonight at the American Airlines Center. The one-of-a-kind event will span the living legend’s entire catalog, ranging from his stellar output with the Eagles to his long solo career. Henley will be joined by several “very special guests” – which promises some unexpected delights. The AAC is served by Victory Station.

There will be a gardening demo at the Farmers Branch Market this weekend, along with the walkway of nearly 40 vendors in the market, selling everything from produce and meats to eggs, artisan foods and crafts. The demo will feature Dallas County Master Gardeners Lee Alexander taking the stage at 11:30 a.m. The Market will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The Grove @ Mustang Crossing this, and every, Saturday, through the end of October.

Sunday, July 23

It’s the last performance of Finding Neverland – an incredible musical that details the creation of Peter Pan. It begins with playwright J.M. Barrie struggling for inspiration. When he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother, he is spellbound by the boys’ make-believe adventures. Note: no children under age 4 are permitted. The performance takes place at Winspear Opera House, a short walk from Peal/Arts District Station or the D-Link.

 

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Ride DART to Dollar Day at the Dallas Zoo

ZOO STATION CANOPY-8

Dollar Day at the Dallas Zoo returns tomorrow, July 20. Hop on board DART’s Red Line to Dallas Zoo Station and enjoy the Zoo’s $1 admission and dollar deals from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DART’s GoPass app offers you the best way to purchase your transit passes. With GoPass, you also can access travel tools and rider alerts, and look up events and offers. The app is free to download from the App Store or the Google Play store.

Dollar Day Deals Include:

  • $1 admission (free for 2 and under and Zoo members)
  • $1 selected snack items
  • $1 nectar to feed the lorikeets
  • $2 Endangered Species Carousel
  • $5 giraffe feedings
  • $8 parking (limited)

For more information about Dollar Day, visit dallaszoo.com. And, for tips on making the most out of Dollar Day at the Zoo, check out this story on the Dallas Zoo’s ZooHoo! blog.

Can’t get enough of DARTable events like this one? Check out our Rider Insider for a list of other fun events happening this week.

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More Growth! More Opportunities! More Traffic?

It’s no secret. Our region is growing – seemingly by the minute! North Texas welcomed more than 140,000 new residents in 2015-2016; more than any other metro area welcomed in one year. This growth speaks to the vitality of our region.  A healthy job market, strong employment opportunities, diverse and affordable housing, as well as our engaging culture, has continued to draw people en masse to North Texas. While North Texans welcome new businesses, people, and industries with open arms, we must ensure that our infrastructure – including our transit infrastructure — can support and sustain our new neighbors.

A robust population with a transit system to match

While population growth is certainly a good thing for North Texas, it can quickly become a burden if it grows unchecked without supportive infrastructure. That’s where DART comes in.  We know that a population cannot continue to grow and prosper unless people have an accessible means of moving about.  Public transit allows those who cannot drive, or who choose not to drive maintain access to employment, retail, healthcare, education, and critical public services.  Additionally it keeps our roads clear – allowing not just our cars, but our commerce to flow freely.

Let’s take a closer look at how DART considers population when beginning Capital Projects.

  • How will the D2 Subway support our population growth? As DART moves through the project development process, we have developed some concepts for stations along the proposed corridors. One of these stations is Metro Center (see map below). This area’s population alone is anticipated to almost quadruple by 2040. The D2 Subway can help support transit opportunities for new and existing residents.  An underground station could transform our current DART west transfer center, providing riders with a multi-level station experience.  This transit hub could also support transit-oriented development, including housing and mixed-use opportunities; transforming this neighborhood into a destination.
  • How will the Cotton Belt support our population growth? The Cotton Belt will stretch 26 miles and provide access to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson, and Plano. This regional rail line will support our growing region, and ease congestion for riders and non-riders alike; providing environmental as well as time saving benefits. Trips to and from DFW Airport will allow residents and visitors to hop off a flight and onto our rail, traveling seamlessly without the struggle of sitting in traffic, or the expense of taking a taxi.
New businesses bring new people

Our area has grown and continues to grow into an international business hub.  Businesses are relocating to the region, spurring economic growth across North Texas.  For example, since 2010 70 companies have moved their headquarters to North Texas!  One of these businesses is Toyota who has recently moved in, building a 2-million-square-foot campus in Plano.  Toyota has chosen North Texas as its U.S. headquarters and plans to employ over 4,000 people. Corporate relocations can bring bountiful commercial, cultural, and retail benefits to the surrounding communities.

At DART, we want to ensure that our region continues to boom for the long term. With a population inching closer to cities like New York or Chicago, North Texas must consider our transit infrastructure and develop multi-modal options to support it.

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Best of DART

FarmersBranchMarket8

Photo courtesy of farmersbranchmarket.com

We’re fortunate to have top-notch cultural institutions, great parks and an amazing skyline in North Texas. Everyone has favorite “best” spots, and we’ve compiled this partial list of ours.

Jukebox
Adair’s Saloon, near Deep Ellum Station, has been in business since 1963 – it may even be the oldest bar in Dallas — and if it’s not evident by the antique graffiti lining the walls, the classic burgers and the generally vintage vibe, the jukebox tells the tale: Think George Strait, Conway Twitty and Tammy Wynette, plus a few more modern selections for good measure.

Nature Walk
Tucked away mere steps from Galatyn Park Station is the Galatyn Woodland Preserve. The city fades away fast when you stroll on its multiuse trail through a creek valley area and along wetland ponds. There are also picnic areas, an animal sculpture playground and more. The trail links with the Spring Creek Nature Area, another natural respite.

Birdwatching
Campion Trail near Las Colinas Station is cool for many reasons – hiking, mountain biking, just general communing with nature – but it’s especially beloved by local birdwatchers. The trail stretches for miles and comprises both wooded and unshaded sections for a well-rounded birdwatching experience.

Scenic Overlook
Maybe we’re biased, but we love the terrific natural vista point right at Camp Wisdom Station. The station site is on a hill in an expanse of nature that is still wild. Standing at the overlook – located along the walkway near the site’s highest point – you can almost forget you’re in Dallas.

Splash
Klyde Warren Park not only has children’s spaces, lawn games and loads of other kid-friendly activities, it also has a terrific splash pad, and the backdrop is the spectacular skyline. Both the M-Line and D-Link will get you there.

Farmers Market
One of the coolest around is the Farmers Branch Market. Not only do its vendors sell tons of fresh produce, but it often features live music, food trucks and other amenities that make for a great a Saturday morning. It’s shaded, too, situated mostly under an expansive grove of oak trees. The market is near Farmers Branch Station.

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Finding Solutions to Reduce Traffic Congestion in Plano

 

Recently, DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas joined leaders from the City of Plano, the North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation at a press conference to share their efforts to reduce the number of vehicles on Plano’s roads.

In Plano’s Legacy Business Park, major corporations – such as Toyota Motor North America – are transforming once empty fields into regional and national headquarters. Developers are creating mixed-use communities, which will provide nearby dining, shopping, entertainment and housing.

As the population of this area grows, so does the traffic.

Learn more about DART’s efforts to increase mobility in Plano in the May issue of the Inmotion newsletter.

 

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Perot Partnership Allows More to See Maya Exhibition

perot2

Photo courtesy of dallasartsdistrict.org

This summer, DART is partnering with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to offer $1 dollar admission for members of the community who otherwise might not be able to treat their families to the popular museum.

The Perot’s Community Partners Ticket Offer allows participants of eligible supplemental programs – such as SNAP, TANF and WIC – to pay $1 for general admission, and only an additional dollar to see the fantastic traveling exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.

In addition to Maya, the Perot is offering an impressive crop of exhibits this summer – kids and adults alike can explore dinosaurs, robots, DNA, earthquakes… there are 11 exhibit halls in all.

The offer is valid through Sept. 4. With valid proof of enrollment in an eligible assistance program – plus a photo ID – participants can purchase their discounted admission tickets right at the museum’s box office. Qualified individuals can bring up to seven immediate family members with them on the day of their visit. Admission to films is not included in the offer.

Eligible programs:

  • TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • SNAP – Texas Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program
  • WIC – Women, Infants and Children Nutritional Program
  • SSI – Supplemental Security Income
  • RSDI – Retirement Survivors Disability Insurance
  • CHIP – Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • CHIP-perinatal
  • Children’s Medicaid

Other partners in the program include Children’s Health Pediatric Group, Dallas Public Library, North Texas Food Bank and Telemundo 39.

For more information, visit perotmuseum.org/communitypartners.

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