From the Vault: DART goes to Olympic lengths

Editor’s note: In “From the Vault” we take a look back in time at historical DART stories. Today’s story originally appeared in the Spring 2002 publication “Connections.”

DART goes to Olympic lengths

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When Sarah Hughes skated for the gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, legions of her fans rode DART to the rink.

As the world’s greatest winter athletes converged on Utah’s capital, 30 buses and 29 light rail vehicles on loan from DART kept the crowds moving, doubling the capacity of the local transit system. And for a contingent of DART transit operators, maintenance workers and mechanics along for the ride, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

While transit agencies often loan buses to one another to support major events — we sent buses to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta — the brief marriage of convenience between DART Rail and Salt Lake’s TRAX system was an industry first.

Why DART trains? Technically, they were the most compatible with the TRAX system. And since DART had expanded its LRV fleet well ahead of this year’s planned extensions to Richardson, Garland and Plano, we were uniquely ready to go the extra mile for our newest customers.

Once on line in Salt Lake, DART’s vehicles were a sensation, whisking crowds to the various venues and surprising Dallas-area news reporters in town to cover the games. ALong with members of DART’s Olympic support team, our buses and trains were feature attractions in television and newspaper reports.

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