Get Your Festival on in May

Dragon Festival

Festival season is here and DART makes it easy to enjoy all the music, food, art and more that these events offer. Here are just some of May’s DARTable festivals.

Plano AsiaFest – May 6
Haggard Park (DARTable Gem)
asianamericanheritage.org
Downtown Plano Station
Celebrating its 14th anniversary, AsiaFest 2017 showcases the rich cultures of Asia. Festival goers will enjoy traditional Asian delicacies and performances, as well as a fashion show, and for children of all ages, there will be lots of activities from painting and drawing to trying out various musical instruments.

DFW Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival – May 21
Lake Carolyn
dfwdragonboatfestival.com
Las Colinas Urban Center Station
This festival has become one of the largest events focusing on raising diversity awareness in the Southwest. Visitors will enjoy cultural performances, an international costumes parade, interactive activities, lantern riddles, carnival-type games and more.

Cinco de Mayo Festival – May 6
150 N. Sixth St., Garland
visitgarlandtx.com
Downtown Garland Station
Bring the family and all your friends to this exciting event that features bounce houses for the children, Ballet Folkloric performances, live entertainment, great food and fun for the entire family.

Festival de Mayo – May 7
Fair Park
univision.com
Fair Park Station
This one-day festival presented by Univision Local Media is a celebration of Hispanic culture. It features live performances by Regional Mexican artists, vendor displays, demonstrations, authentic food and cultural exhibits.

Asian Festival – May 13
Fair Park
gdaacc.com
Fair Park Station
This family-friendly festival will showcase Asian cuisines from countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and China. Highlights include cultural performances, arts and crafts, a children’s zone, and a cultural pavilion area to learn about each culture.

Homegrown Music Festival – May 13
Main Street Garden
homegrownfest.com
St. Paul Station
This local music and outdoor festival will once again fill vibrant Downtown Dallas with music and art at the Main Street Garden Park. Attendees can expect live art demonstrations and local vendors selling art, wares, food and beverages.

Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival – May 19-21
Galatyn Park
wildflowerfestival.com
Galatyn Park Station
This eclectic event features activities for the whole family, including live entertainment across multiple stages. The Kidz Korner offers all kinds of fun such as free games, crafts and a live butterfly habitat. The Wild! Marketplace is a shopping adventure with imports, novelties and arts and crafts.

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Telemundo-39 News Presenter to Emcee Upcoming Health Fair

Teresa GonzalezTeresa Gonzalez, a news presenter for Telemundo-39 Dallas-Fort Worth, will serve as the emcee for this year’s Older Americans Information and Health Fair May 11, at Centennial Hall in Fair Park.

Telemundo-39 is one of several organizations to partner with DART to offer this free fair that runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Health information, free screenings and entertainment are just a few program highlights. Since Centennial Hall is DARTable (Green Line to Fair Park Station), the event is easy to attend/reach. Plus the event is DARTable – Centennial Hall is conveniently located just inside the gates at Fair Park Station on the Green Line.

Other partners include Al Día, city of Dallas, Community Council of Greater Dallas/Dallas Area Agency on Aging, Dallas Police Department, The Dallas Morning News and NBC DFW-5 (KXAS).

To learn more about the 23rd Annual Older Americans Information and Health Fair, please visit DART.org/seniors. If you need information on riding DART, please call DART Customer Service at 214-979-1111.

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So Much More than a Ride to Work


Did you know that Texas is home to eight metropolitan transit systems, 39 rural transit systems, and 33 urban transit systems? Public transportation is critical to supporting our state’s and our nation’s larger transportation network and infrastructure.  As our state continues to experience unprecedented growth, public transportation providers must keep up to support the flow of commerce and improve mobility.  Comprehensive public transportation systems throughout our great state have transformed communities for the better, even for those who do not ride.

Supporting our State’s Growth

Texas is the third-fastest-growing state in the U.S. and leads the nation in economic development. Home to two of the nation’s top metro areas, Texas has more companies relocating here every year. Growing states like Texas must support alternative methods of mobility, like public transportation, in order to accommodate this population boom.

Driving Economic Development

Investing in public transit spurs economic development.  In fact, for every $10 million invested in public transportation, there is a $30 million increase in business sales.

Here in North Texas, public transportation is driving our local economy. More than $7 billion has been invested in new and planned development projects near DART stations, and existing and future development near DART transit will result in $229 million in tax revenue.

Property Values

Public transportation can increase nearby real estate properties, known as “transit premium” properties. This type of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) premium can range from a few-percentage-point increase to as much as 150 percent.

  • FAST FACT:  Completed or under construction transit-oriented development near DART stations has already generated $69 million in state and local tax revenue. The study also projects potential spending for planned or proposed developments could produce another $160 million in state and local tax revenue.

Jobs and the Workforce

Public transportation is essential in creating and sustaining employment.  The supply chain of public transportation includes much more than just light rail or bus operations.  Manufacturing, service, construction, finance, insurance, engineering, and retail are just some of the industries public transportation investment supports.  One billion dollars of federal investment in public transportation supports or creates 47,500 jobs.

Public transportation does so much more than help people commute to and from work. Everyone reaps the benefits of public transportation, including businesses and non-riders alike. This critical piece of infrastructure supports growth on national, state, and local levels.

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Top Three Reasons to Attend the Older Americans Fair

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DART – in partnership with the Community Council of Greater Dallas/Dallas Area Agency on Aging, city of Dallas and Dallas Police Department – is holding its annual health fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11. Here are three reasons why you should grab your DART pass and take the Green Line to Fair Park Station.

  1. Take advantage of free health screenings. Why wouldn’t you check your cholesterol, blood pressure, vision and more – for free!
  2. Get healthful information. Vendors will have booths at this year’s event, sharing resources and information on everything from food nutrition to health care management.
  3. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones. This annual health fair attracts older Americans from across North Texas. Swap stories, show your moves on the dance floor, and enjoy a good meal, entertainment and giveaways.

The Older Americans Information and Health Fair will be held in Centennial Hall at Fair Park.

Media partners include NBC 5, Telemundo 39, The Dallas Morning News and Al Día.

To learn more about the Older Americans Information and Health Fair, please visit DART.org/seniors. Call 214-979-1111 for information on riding DART.

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All Aboard the Cotton Belt: Conducting Field Observations and Surveys


DART is conducting several different kinds of field research to inform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for North Texas’s newest regional rail line, the Cotton Belt. Last week, we told you about the importance of collecting information on noise and vibration in the Cotton Belt corridor, and how it informs our projections of future noise and vibration levels once the Cotton Belt is in full operation. Additional information DART is gathering includes:

  • Socioeconomic Field Observations
  • Ecosystems and Water Resources Observations
  • Cultural and Historic Resources Observations

Socioeconomic Field Observations

Taking stock of existing land use such as active businesses, neighborhoods, schools, and  parks will inform how best to structure the rail line.  Currently, DART employees are in the field observing properties next to the Cotton Belt corridor and assessing safety factors, including pedestrian and traffic movements and the distance of residences from the rail line.  These will help determine if DART needs to make engineering or design changes for the Cotton Belt, such as elevating the tracks at certain points to better accommodate current and future conditions in the area.

Did you know? The right of way (ROW) for the Cotton Belt corridor was purchased by DART more than 25 years ago. Communities have continued to grow and thrive around the corridor since then, so we are developing a plan that reflects those changes.

Ecosystems and Water Resources

Our goal is to make sure construction of the Cotton Belt does not unnecessarily disrupt the natural landscape and beauty of North Texas. By understanding the wetlands, U.S. waters, and habitats surrounding the Cotton Belt Right of Way, DART can work to avoid or alleviate any significant impacts to this landscape.

Cultural and Historic Resources

We’re committed to preserving cultural and historic features and are collaborating with the Texas Historical Commission on the Cotton Belt’s design and construction so we will not interfere with significant resources or landmarks.  Identifying cultural resources or historic structures adjacent to the corridor will help DART determine the best options for preserving those elements of the area’s unique history.

So, How Does DART Collect this Information?

The DART-owned corridor includes a ROW that is typically about 100-feet wide and extends 26 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Plano.  Generally, the field work performed by DART staff will take place in this ROW and Cotton Belt corridor. DART will always coordinate with owners in advance if field work takes place on any private property.

We take pride in being a good neighbor to all of North Texas, and the field work we conduct allows us to mitigate any significant impacts we may discover during our research. The data collected will help shape the design of the Cotton Belt and allow DART to address potential issues and impacts before construction begins. DART’s goal is to move North Texas forward – a goal we can only accomplish by being the best neighbor possible to those who will be living and working along the new regional rail line once it begins operating.

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Thomas Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Federal Funding Needs

Gary Thomas testimony

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

DART is one of many public transit agencies that has projects in the federal funding pipeline. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives wanted to know how Capital Investment Grants (CIG) will advance these transit projects.

DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association, testified today before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. Specifically, the committee wanted to hear from state and local authorities concerning the implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act.

“The programs supported by the FAST Act and its predecessors are difference makers in North Texas,” Thomas said. “DART was able to build its 93 miles of electric light rail in just over 20 years because the federal government has been a partner, providing three FTA Full Funding Grant Agreements as part the CIG program, which the Trump administration proposes eliminating. Our most recent one, awarded in 2006 for $700 million, supported the construction of our light rail Green Line.”

Thomas said that the proposal to eliminate the FAST Act’s CIG program threatens more than 55 projects in communities all around the country that have expended resources planning new projects with the expectation that the federal government would uphold the commitments made in the FAST Act.

Thomas listed some of DART’s upcoming projects. For example, D2 is a second light rail line in Downtown Dallas that is slated to be partially funded by a Core Capacity Grant. If the President’s budget proposal is accepted, these federal funds would be unavailable.

“It is critical that Congress keeps these commitments and reject the Administration’s proposed cuts to public transportation programs that were authorized a little more than one year ago,” Thomas said.

Click here to read Thomas’ full testimony.

To watch video of the entire subcommittee meeting, click here.

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DART: Your Ride to the Older Americans Month Information & Health Fair

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When you’re making strides toward better health and wellness, who says aging has to be something to hide?

Age out loud and ride DART to the Older Americans Month Information & Health Fair May 11th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Centennial Hall in Fair Park.

Receive health screenings and wellness information and enjoy entertainment, prizes and giveaways thanks to our partners: Al Día, City of Dallas, Community Council of Greater Dallas, Dallas Police Department, The Dallas Morning News, Telemundo-39 (KXTX) and NBC DFW-5 (KXAS).

DART’s Green Line offers you the easiest way to get there. Hop on board and ride to Fair Park Station, and Centennial Hall is just a short walk away. You can park free at a number of DART bus or rail facilities before riding transit to the fair.

Did you know DART offers senior citizens an annual Regional Pass at a discounted rate? Visit DART.org/fares for more details.

If you don’t own a Senior Citizen Annual Pass, don’t worry. You’ll be able to purchase one at the fair. Just remember to bring proof of your age, such as a driver’s license, passport or other relevant documentation. These passes also are available at the DART Store Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.

To register for the Older Americans Month Information & Health Fair, visit DART.org/seniors or call Transit Education at 214-749-3494. For more general information about the event, visit DART.org.

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DART and the Music Take You There

It’s National Jazz Appreciation Month, and DART’s all about inspiring you to discover new places to play, such as the Sammons Center for the Arts.

Monday morning and afternoon, a jazz trio comprised of North Texas musicians Joe James, Brandon Broussard and Jordan Carr hopped on board the Green Line to give riders a taste of the musical styling you can find when you DART to the center.

The group road from Trinity Mills Station as they played on board DART’s southbound trains, at Akard Station and at the African American Museum. Check out the photos below to view scenes from the event.

To DART to the Sammons Center for the Arts, ride the Orange or Green Line to Market Center Station and the center is a short walk away.

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Easter Events Are a Hop, Skip and a DART Away

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Easter’s on its way! And there’s plenty of Easter-related fun that’s only a hop away on DART. Enjoy the following eggciting events.

Dallas’ Eggs-travaganza
Saturday, April 8, the city of Dallas is hosting numerous egg hunts – dubbed the Eggs-travaganza — at city parks, including one at Crawford Memorial Park near Buckner Station.  The same day, The Irving will host a free citywide egg hunt for children ages 3-10, and will even have a petting zoo. It happens at Irving Heritage Park, near the Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station on the Trinity Railway Express.

Carrollton Movies on the Square
The Carrollton Movies on the Square series gets in the seasonal spirit with the showing of Hop, an Easter-themed family comedy that mixes live action with computer animation. The movie will roll at sundown, Saturday, April 15, and it’s free – as well as being a short walk from Downtown Carrollton Station.

Dallas Easter Run
It’s a little different than hunting for eggs, but the Dallas Easter Run has plenty of fun for the whole family. There’s a 4-mile run/walk, a 1-miler, and more. It all starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 15, at the corner of St. Paul and San Jacinto streets — a short walk from St. Paul Station.

GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower
Hop up to the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower for Easter fun on April 15 and April 16. Kids 12 and under can snap photos with the Easter Bunny and receive Easter-themed goodies with the purchase of a general admission ticket. It’s an event that puts a new spin on Easter, for sure. For more information, visit their website or call 214-712-7040.

For Easter Brunch
And if brunch is an Easter tradition for you, DART’s got you covered there, as well. For a Southern-style brunch, try Angela’s at the Crosswalk near Downtown Plano Station. Or make a nostalgic trolley ride part of your Easter Sunday and hit one of the many excellent spots in Uptown, such as Breadwinners or Dream Cafe.

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All Aboard the Cotton Belt: Next Stop, Assessing Noise and Vibration


The development of North Texas’ newest regional rail line, the Cotton Belt, is moving along! DART is advancing the planning process with a revenue service arrival date scheduled by 2022. DART needs to collect a variety of data and information that will inform the significant transit extension’s engineering, design, and construction. DART desires to be a good neighbor of the North Texas region, and that’s why we’re doing the necessary research to help us create a better, and quieter regional rail for North Texas.

What is the Next Step for the Cotton Belt?

DART researches many components when building a large-scale transit project like the Cotton Belt.  Areas of investigation include:

  • Impacts to the existing landscape
  • Noise and vibration effects
  • Potential commuter or traffic impacts

DART is currently collecting this kind of information to complete an Environmental Impact Statement or EIS.

What is an EIS?

As Alexander Graham Bell said, “Preparation is the key to success,” and an EIS is DART’s strongest preparation tool. An EIS assesses the positive and negative environmental effects of building a major project like the Cotton Belt.  DART’s goal is to collect as much information for this statement as possible to navigate any potential issues when constructing the Cotton Belt.  DART wants to be a good neighbor to nearby residents, and make sure that if there are major findings in the EIS, DART can use this data to create alternatives or suggest solutions to avoid significant disruptions or impacts.

Did you know? Compared to the thundering trains of the past, advances in transit technology have made regional railroads significantly less noisy.

Collecting Information on Noise and Vibration

DART is collecting existing noise and vibration information within the corridor’s right-of-way.  This information will help us model noise and vibration levels that may occur once the project is in place.  DART will include this in the EIS, identify major noise or vibration implications, and propose solutions to lessen these impacts through mitigation.

Noise and vibration measurements will be taken throughout the 26-mile corridor during an 11 day period, and will be conducted primarily on DART-owned property or right-of-way.  Engineers are in the process of conducting surveys in the field to gain more information about the Cotton Belt corridor. These noise and vibration measurements and tests will be conducted 24 hours a day during the weeks of March 27 and April 3.

If you see DART engineers in your community conducting tests, know that they are collecting critical information to make sure our new regional rail will be the best neighbor possible.

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