Gary Thomas talks future goals, plans for DART

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DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas

DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas

Only a week into 2015, DART’s President and Executive Director Gary Thomas is looking ahead at the future plans for the transit agency. In a Q&A published in The Dallas Morning News, Thomas speaks about securing federal funding, adding capacity in downtown Dallas and increasing ridership in the 13 cities DART operates.

Q: What challenges and opportunities do you anticipate for transit agencies in 2015?

A: As in previous years — recently, at least — one of the challenges facing transit agencies is securing federal funding. This is particularly true of big-ticket capital projects, but formula funding must be re-approved periodically, and there is a deep field of agencies across the nation competing for these scarce dollars. Some of them have ambitious plans, but there’s a fairly stagnant pot of money.

Q: What are some of the needs you foresee in the community this year?

A: We’re working to address the transit capacity through downtown Dallas because this can help improve all of our rail lines and transit service. We’ll advance plans to extend the light rail platforms outside of downtown so we can operate longer trains throughout the entire system, letting us move more people more efficiently. We need to continue improving our bus service, and we’ll continue a review of our operations to develop short-, intermediate- and long-term ways to make it better.

Follow the link below to read the rest of the Q&A.

Looking Ahead: Improving capacity, service key focus in coming year for DART [dallasnews.com]

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