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Dallas Area Rapid Transit
logo
image
Arapaho Center Station
An escalator descends from the street to an island platform station with a white and yellow train present along a landscaped track.
A northbound train at the Mockingbird Station
Founded 1983
Headquarters 1401 Pacific Avenue
Locale Dallas, Texas
Service area Dallas and 12 nearby suburbs[1]
Service type Bus, light rail, commuter rail
Routes 113 bus
18 FLEX / shuttle
3 light rail
1 commuter rail
Stops 12,322
Hubs 15 (transfer centers)
Stations 38 (light rail)
10 (commuter rail)
Fleet 673 (bus)
115 (light rail)
Daily ridership 228,300[1]
Fuel type DC Electric, Liquefied Natural Gas, Diesel
Web site http://www.dart.org

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority (or DART) is a transit agency based in Dallas, Texas (USA), that operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, and HOV lanes in Dallas and 12 of its suburbs. Its 45 miles (72.4 km) of track make it the largest light rail operator in the State of Texas.

Contents

History

Precursor agencies

Dtslogo.png

The Dallas Transit System (DTS) was the publicly owned mass transit service operated by the City of Dallas, Texas (USA), from 1964 to 1988. DTS resulted from a consolidation of various privately owned transit companies and streetcar lines. Prior to DTS, the company was formerly known as the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company when Dallas had an extensive streetcar system that spanned from Oak Cliff to north Dallas. The name was changed shortly after the last streetcar ran in January 1956. DART formally took over operations of the DTS in 1988.

In 2000, DART employees restored a 1966 DTS bus to its original state.[2]

Creation of DART

DART was created on 13 August 1983 as a regional replacement for the DTS. Citizens of 15 area cities had voted to levy a 1% sales tax to join the system by the time it began transit services in 1984 (though formal acquisition of the Dallas Transit System wouldn't be complete until 1988).

In 1985, member cities Carrollton and Farmers Branch held elections to pull out of DART, though the measures failed. But shifting suburban politics and a loss of confidence in DART management after voters declined to support DART's measure to incur long term debt in 1988 led to 7 more pullout votes, two of which (Flower Mound and Coppell) were successful. Just one suburb joined DART — the tiny community of Buckingham, which was later annexed by DART member city Richardson.

DART Light Rail

Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Dallas Area Rapid Transit logo.png
DART Light Rail car 113.jpg
DART train stopped at the West End Station, heading to the American Airlines Center.
Info
Owner DART
Locale Dallas, Texas
Transit type Light rail
Operation
Began operation June 14, 1996
Technical
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Minimum radius of curvature (?)
Electrification 750 V DC, overhead lines
Route map
DFW map of proposed system

The DART light rail system comprises 48.6 miles (78.2 km) between its three lines — the Red Line, the Blue Line and the Green Line. DART's light rail system has a daily ridership of 69,800 [5] and is the eighth most-ridden light rail system in the United States. The system utilizes light rail trains manufactured by Kinki Sharyo, with all trains being converted to "Super" LRVs which feature level boarding (especially convenient for strollers and wheelchairs) and higher passenger capacity.[3]

Before the 1983 election, DART had a plan for 160 miles (257.5 km) of rail. After the election, the plan was pared down to 147 miles (236.6 km) miles when Duncanville, Grand Prairie and Mesquite, which would have had rail lines, didn't opt to join the agency. DART chose light rail transit as its primary mode of rail transportation in 1984. The plan was pared down again to 93 miles (149.7 km) miles before the 1988 bond vote. After the vote, the agency again pared down the regional rail system to 84 miles (135.2 km) miles; 66 miles (106.2 km) light rail miles and 18 miles of commuter rail. That plan would be amended after the starter system finished to the current plan that continues to evolve today, with current plans for 93 miles (149.7 km) miles of completed light-rail, an additional 17.5 miles (28.2 km) recommended, and with rail plans still in development regarding the proposed Cotton Belt alignment from Plano to DFW Airport, which would be approximately 26 miles (41.8 km) miles in length.

The following lines are currently active:

  • Red Line (Opened in 1996, completed in its current state in 2002)
  • Blue Line (Opened in 1996, completed in its current state in 2002, additions scheduled for completion in 2012 and 2018)
  • Green Line (Opened in 2009, scheduled for completion in 2010)

The following line is under construction:

McKinney Avenue Transit Authority

DART also assists in the operation of the M-line Streetcar, with a joint operating subsidy given to the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority along with the Uptown Improvement District.

Starter system

After 6 years of scandals involving finances, delays in construction of the rail system, a failed bond election, and nine pull-out votes (two of which were successful), the year 1990 was a turning point for the agency when DART broke ground on its light rail system in October. The light rail system began service on time and on budget in June 1996,[4] inaugurating the first light rail system in Texas and the Southwest. Commuter rail service to Irving began in December, after some delays.

A white and yellow train arriving at a station with several lamp posts in the foreground, transit oriented development at the rear and station signage at the far right.
Train arriving at the Downtown Plano Station

To the surprise of critics, who expected the low ridership of some other systems,[citation needed] the new light rail system was embraced by Dallasites, with ridership exceeding expectations. The suburbs' confidence in DART was also expressed at the ballot box: four cities held highly publicized pullout elections in 1996 (with the financial assistance of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones[5]), but all four voted to remain in DART (three of them by margins of more than two-to-one).

The 20 miles (32 km) starter system opened on 14 June 1996, which spanned from the Westmoreland Station on the Red Line in Dallas (West Oak Cliff) through downtown Dallas to Pearl Station. There were also two stations on the Blue Line, Morrell and Illinois that opened on that date.

The next stage of the starter line opened on 10 January 1997 when the Red Line was extended from Pearl Station to Park Lane Station. It includes the underground portion of the line between Pearl Station and Mockingbird Station, also the site of Dallas's first modern transit village. The northern terminus of the Blue Line was still Pearl Station.[6]

The starter line was completed when the Blue Line was extended from Illinois Station to its current southern terminus at Ledbetter Station. This came on 31 May 1997, nearly one year after the first part of the starter system opened.

The final change to the starter system came on 18 December 2000 when DART opened Cityplace Station, the first subway station in the Southwest.

Commuter Rail on the old Rock Island right-of-way began during the series of openings of the light rail starter system. On 30 December 1996 the Trinity Railway Express opened the first segment as the South Irving Transit Center was connected to Union Station in downtown Dallas with a stop in the middle at Medical/Market Center Station. The agency had to lease rail cars due to a delay in the current stock until March.

Suburban expansion

After the success of the light rail starter system, voters approved DART's request to use long-term bonds to expedite the construction of the regional light rail system. While DART had originally planned single-track extensions of the Blue Line to Garland and the Red Line to Richardson and Plano, the starter system was so popular that the agency made plans to double-track the entire route.

Work began on the extensions of the Blue Line and the Red Line on 15 January 1999. Later that same year, on 27 September, the Blue Line designation was extended from Pearl Station to Mockingbird Station, for its eventual expansion to Garland.[6] The first station since 1997 to open came on 24 September 2001, when the Blue Line was extended from Mockingbird Station to the new White Rock Station. A little over a year and a half a year later, the Blue Line debuted another station as light rail pushed outside the LBJ Loop when the LBJ/Skillman Station opened on 6 May 2002.

The first extension of the Red Line opened on 1 July 2002 when the line added 7 stations from a newly opened Park Lane Station to Galatyn Park Station. Richardson became the first Dallas suburb to be served by light rail.

The Blue Line was completed in its current form on 18 November 2002 when Garland became the second suburb to get light rail service. The two new stations of Forest/Jupiter Station and Downtown Garland Station were opened to the public.

The final stage of the light rail expansion was completed six months ahead of schedule when Plano's first trains ran on 9 December 2002, completing the north central and northeast expansion. Archer Western Contractors is the Construction Management and General Contractor officials building the current rail extensions to Carrollton and Elam Creek.[citation needed]

Passengers waiting at the station

Green and Orange Lines

On 3 July 2006, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved a US$700 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) — the largest grant ever awarded to DART — to kick-start a US$2.5 billion expansion of the light rail system. Now under construction, this phase will include two new light rail lines that will double DART's existing light rail mileage.[7] Construction began in September 2006, with the first stations opened in Fall 2009 in time to provide service to the State Fair of Texas. When the project is complete in 2013, DART's light rail system will have doubled to 90 miles (145 km).[8]

The new Green Line will run southeast from downtown to Fair Park and then to the Dallas neighborhood of Pleasant Grove. This line will also operate northwest from downtown Dallas via Love Field Airport, and extend into the suburbs of Farmers Branch and Carrollton, where plans are to connect to a future rail line operated by the adjacent Denton County Transportation Authority. The first segment of the new line, serving Victory Station, was designated as a "Segment of Independent Utility" and was opened on 14 November 2004. It currently is used for regular Green Line service which connects Victory Station through downtown Dallas to Deep Ellum, and Fair Park. This segment, between Victory Station and West End Station, is also used for special events, such as sporting events at American Airlines Center by Red Line and Blue Line.

The second line, the Orange Line, will run concurrently with the future Green Line from downtown Dallas to just past Love Field Airport, where it will branch off toward Irving with eventual service to DFW Airport. DART is cooperating with DFW and Love Field to link the two airports via rail. The line will run through Las Colinas and connect to the Las Colinas APT System. DART had preliminary plans for the Orange Line to run concurrently with the Red Line from downtown Dallas to LBJ/Central Station.[9] Current maps have the Orange Line's terminus at Pearl Station in downtown Dallas.

In maps before 2006, DART labeled the Pleasant Grove to Carrollton route the "Orange Line", and the Irving route was the "Purple Line". Green was generally used on DART maps to denote the route of the Trinity Railway Express. By the time construction started, DART was using the new "Green Line" designation as part of its marketing efforts, saying "Like the color green, this line is a symbol of our city on the move."[10]

2030 Plan

In October 2006, the DART Board of Directors unanimously approved the following measures for the next round of rail expansion.[11]

  • A 2.9-mile (4.7 km) light rail extension of the Blue Line to Bonnie View Road and Interstate 20 to the new SouthPort intermodal port in southeast Dallas. This line will terminate just north of Lancaster and Hutchins, cities that are not currently members of DART.
  • A 4.3-mile (6.9 km) light rail extension of the Red Line south to Red Bird Lane. This line will terminate just short of Duncanville, another non-DART city, and pass near the headquarters of AAFES.
  • A 4.3-mile (6.9 km) light rail extension of the Orange Line along Scyene Road to approximately Masters Drive, just short of non-DART member city Mesquite.
  • A 6-mile (10 km) light rail line in West Dallas along Fort Worth Avenue or Singleton to Loop 12/Jefferson Boulevard, terminating just east of Grand Prairie, which also did not join DART. No color designation has been given for this planned line.
  • A station for the Lake Highlands neighborhood of northeast Dallas on the Blue Line, between White Rock Station and LBJ/Skillman Station. The area previously opposed rail service, so the line moved on without a station at the turn of the century. This will be the first component of the 2030 plan to begin, as construction has begun, with an opening scheduled for December 2010. This is a key component of the new Lakehighlands Town Center TOD development.
  • A nearly 26-mile (42 km) Cotton Belt Rail Line commuter service in the east-west Cotton Belt corridor from the Red Line in Plano to DFW International Airport. This line would provide rail service to the existing bus transfer station in Addison and would intersect the Green Line at Downtown Carrollton Station. The line would pass through Coppell, which pulled out of DART in 1989. No color designation has been given for this planned line.

DART's 2030 plan also calls for a comprehensive network of enhanced and rapid bus corridors consisting of 77 miles (124 km) of enhanced bus service corridors and 20 miles (32 km) of rapid bus service corridors with strengthened and new express bus service. The plan also calls for additions to the current 31 miles (50 km) of high occupancy vehicle lanes to 116 miles (187 km).

The final 2030 plan included several changes from the draft plan released in July 2006. Removed from the final plan was a 6.3-mile (10.1 km) branch of the Red Line from Forest Lane Station to the Addison Transit Center, which would have included several miles of subway under Interstate 635. DART officials cited the line's high cost, US$700 million, and lack of strong support from the city of Dallas. The Blue Line extension to the Dallas Southport Center (intermodal terminal) was added after strong pressure from Dallas officials. Also, the proposed light rail line serving West Dallas was not originally considered as a priority for rail service.

The Cotton Belt corridor plans continued to generate controversy right up to the day of the vote on the 2030 plan. DART leaned toward diesel powered commuter rail for the Cotton Belt corridor, similar to the Trinity Railway Express. However, the line would pass through affluent Far North Dallas neighborhoods. The neighborhood formed the Cotton Belt Concerned Coalition to fight the line in 1990. The group made a concession in 2006 to allow electric light rail vehicles on the line to avoid perceived air and noise pollution associated with diesel rail. The group also proposed that the line be placed in a below-ground trench. These proposals were accepted by the City of Dallas in June 2006 in a unanimous resolution. DART, however, balked at the cost of trenching the line, which they estimated at $250 million. This set up a confrontation between DART and the city of Dallas, which appoints eight of the board's 15 members. The final plan compromised by promising $50 million "to help address neighborhood concerns".[12]

The current freight line runs just south of the Downtown Plano Station on the Red Line, but DART maps of the 2030 plan show the line will route to the nearby Bush Turnpike station, the nearest station to the south of downtown Plano.[13] The Cotton Belt line runs through former DART member city Coppell between Carrollton and DFW Airport; although no station locations are included in the plan, the promise of a future station could entice Coppell into rejoining the agency.

DART Commuter Rail

The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail line connects downtown Dallas with downtown Fort Worth. The TRE, created by an interlocal agreement between DART and the Fort Worth Transit Authority, "The T", connected the cities' centers by rail for the first time since the 1930s, excluding Amtrak's Texas Eagle.

The TRE commuter line has a daily ridership of 10,900 [6] and is the fourteenth most-ridden commuter rail system in the country.

DART Bus Service

In 2006, DART operates 120 fixed-regular bus routes and several circular and shuttle routes. There are 32 local routes, which serve downtown Dallas. Some locals link the suburbs with downtown Dallas. There are 11 express routes which ferry passengers between two areas with limited or no stops in between. These utilize HOV lanes on freeways when possible. There are 29 suburban routes, which link the suburban neighborhoods of DART to transit centers. DART has 18 crosstown routes which run through Dallas and its suburbs, but not downtown. The final fixed route category are the 30 rail-feeder routes that start and/or end at rail stations.

Most trips in the DART system are carried by the bus system. In 2006, DART carried over 150,000 passenger trips per day. This makes DART the 2nd most used system in Texas, behind Houston Metro and ahead of VIA in San Antonio.

DART numbers its bus routes according to the type of route:

  • Local routes, serving downtown: 1-185
  • Express routes, limited-stop service using larger vehicles with reclining seats: 200s
  • "Suburban" routes, local routes originating at a transit center: 300s
  • Crosstown routes, local routes connecting widely separated areas: 400s
  • Rail feeder routes, local routes originating at a rail station: 500s

In addition to the above regular fixed routes, DART will also contract with its neighbors or businesses and run circulators, like the Southern Methodist University or NorthPark Center circulators or shuttles for Texas Instruments or UT Southwestern Medical Center. The circulator routes are given number in the 700 range, while the shuttles are listed in the 800's.

DART runs its bus system similar to the hub and spoke model that some airlines use. DART has several bus-only facilities, which include transit centers, transfer centers, transfer locations, and Park & Rides.

Buses awaiting departure at North Irving Transit Center.

DART has 9 transit centers, which are:

There are 5 transfer locations/centers in the DART bus system, which are:

Finally, DART has 3 Park and Ride locations:

In addition, to make transfers easier, most rail stations act as hubs for DART buses.

DART On-Call Service

Prior to the bus and rail changes on October 6, 2003; DART has launched their premium on-call shuttle service to replace many low-productive DART bus routes. It was first opened in some North Dallas and Plano neighborhoods and in late 2005 has expanded to Glenn Heights in Northern Ellis County. DART On-Call currently operates on weekdays only, (except on holidays).[14]

The On-Call service currently serves north central Plano, eastern Rowlett, Farmers Branch, North Dallas, Lakewood, Richardson, Lake Highlands, and Glenn Heights.

DART Flex Service

A DART On-Call and Flex shuttle.

DART is introducing a new service into its system called a "Flex" service. It is much similar to DART On-Call, except it combines the advantages of a fixed bus route along with curbside pick-up. It uses a local fare on stops at fixed routes and/or a premium fare on curbside pick-ups and drop-offs within the Flex zone if time permits. Customers in those areas who desire a pick-up at a specific location may do so by calling DART 1 hour before their destination time or at stop.[15]

The Flex service currently serves the following areas:

  • East Plano (replaced routes 570, 760, and DART On-Call East Plano.)
  • Garland/Rowlett (to replace route 557.)
  • Pleasant Grove (to replace route 342.)
  • South Irving (Clockwise/Counter-clockwise)
  • South Plano (to replace busiest portions of Telecomm Corridor Flex Service during peak hours.)
  • Telecomm Corridor (Bi-directional, Weekday rush hours only) (replaced portions of route 316)

Circle 6888A6.gif = See proposed service changes for February 16, 2009.

DART Fares

A bus operating in Downtown Dallas.
Service Type Fare
DART Local Single Ride $1.75
DART Local Day Pass $4.00
DART Local 7 Day Pass $20.00
DART Local Monthly Pass $65.00
DART Annual Local Pass $650.00
DART System Single Ride $2.50
DART System Day Pass $5.00
DART System 7 Day Pass $25.00
DART System Monthly Pass $75.00
DART System Annual Pass $750.00
Regional Single Ride $3.75
Regional Day Pass $7.50
Regional 7 Day Pass $37.50
Regional Monthly Pass $105.00
Regional Annual Pass $1050.00
Reduced*/High School Single Ride** $0.85
Reduced*/High School Day Pass** $2.00

* Reduced Fares are applicable on bus and rail for Seniors and non-Paratransit persons with disabilities; Children, elementary through junior high school; Designated bus circulators

** Reduced High School Fare for students with valid photo ID from a school within the DART service area

Fares effective: 14 September 2009

DART member cities

In addition to the cities that voted to join DART at its creation, the legislation that created DART specifies that any city adjoining Dallas may join the agency. In addition, any city that adjoins a DART member city becomes eligible to join. Member cities fund DART with a 1% sales tax. This levy prevents some cities from joining, due to Texas laws that cap the total sales tax that may be charged.

In 2003, the Texas Legislature enacted new legislation enabling countywide transit districts in areas adjacent to major metropolitan areas (such as the Denton County Transportation Authority), but DART's membership rules were not affected.

List of DART member cities

In addition to the city of Dallas, the following cities are also DART members:

Addison planned a vote to withdraw from DART but cancelled the measure in January 1990.
Carrollton voted to remain a DART member in January 1985 by a 69-31 percent margin, again voted in August 1989 to remain a member, and yet again voted to remain a member in August 1996 by a 77-23 percent margin.
Farmers Branch voted to remain a DART member in January 1985 by a 61-39 percent margin, and again voted in November 1989 to remain a member.
Garland voted to remain a DART member in November 1989 and again in January 1996 (the latter by a 2-1 margin).
Glenn Heights is the only suburb in the southern section of the Dallas area that is a DART member (although Cockrell Hill is also in the southern section, it is technically an enclave of Dallas).
Irving voted to remain a DART member in August 1989, and again voted to remain a member in August 1996 by a 57-43 percent margin.
Plano voted to remain a DART member in August 1989, and again voted to remain a member in August 1996 by a 77-23 percent margin.
Richardson annexed the former city of Buckingham in 1996; Buckingham was (and, as of 2008, remains) the only city to join DART subsequent to the 1983 charter election. Also, Buckingham planned a withdrawal vote but cancelled it in July 1989.
Rowlett voted to remain a DART member in August 1989, and again voted to remain a member in August 1996 by a 67-33 percent margin.

All the suburbs listed joined DART as charter members in 1983 (except for Buckingham, no other cities have joined DART subsequent to 1983, and two cities later withdrew as shown below). Glenn Heights is the only suburb which, had it not joined DART in 1983, would be ineligible for membership today, as it does not border either Dallas or another DART member city.

Original cities that declined DART

The cities of Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Lancaster, Mesquite, The Colony, and Wilmer had a proposal to join DART on the ballot in 1983, but voters declined to join. The Colony was the only suburb in the northern portion of Dallas which declined to join DART, and is still eligible to join, as it borders Carrollton, a DART member. (The Colony is also eligible to join DCTA, as it is located in Denton County.) Wilmer is no longer eligible to join DART, as it is not bordered by a DART member city.

Former DART member cities

The cities of Coppell and Flower Mound were original members of DART. However, after voters in the DART service area rejected a 1988 ballot measure plan which would have allowed DART to take on long-term debt, the cities placed measures on the 1989 ballot to withdraw from DART, and the voters approved the measures.

Coppell remains eligible to rejoin DART, as it borders three DART member cities (Dallas, Irving, and Carrollton).

Flower Mound is no longer eligible to rejoin DART as it does not border a DART member city. Flower Mound voters were asked to join DCTA in 2003 but rejected that measure as well.

Eligible cities that are not members of DART

These cities are eligible to join DART as they are adjacent to either Dallas or another DART member city, but have not chosen to levy the required 1% sales tax required for membership and regular service. However, DART can establish service to non-member cities under certain conditions. In addition to the Trinity Railway Express interlocal agreements, DART serves destinations like Eastfield College, which is within the city limits of non-DART member Mesquite.

Eligible City Bordering DART Member City/Cities Notes
Allen Plano
Balch Springs Dallas
Cedar Hill Dallas, Glenn Heights
Coppell Carrollton, Dallas, Irving 1983 charter member, withdrew in 1989
DeSoto Dallas, Glenn Heights
Duncanville Dallas declined membership in original 1983 ballot
Euless Irving
Frisco Plano
Grand Prairie Dallas, Irving declined membership in original 1983 ballot
Grapevine Irving a November 2006 ballot measure to approve a sales tax to fund commuter rail service operated by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority passed by a 3-1 margin[16]
Heath Dallas, Rowlett
Hutchins Dallas a May 1992 ballot measure to join DART was rejected by 50 votes
Lancaster Dallas, Glenn Heights declined membership in original 1983 ballot
Lewisville Carrollton in 2003, Lewisville voters approved membership in the Denton County Transportation Authority, which levies a 1/2 cent sales tax
McKinney Plano McKinney's border with Plano takes place at the corner of Texas State Highway 121 and Farm to Market Road 2478, at one of the few places in the DFW Metroplex where four cities meet
Mesquite Dallas, Garland declined membership in original 1983 ballot
Murphy Plano, Richardson a May 1992 ballot measure to join DART was rejected by a 2-1 margin
Oak Leaf Glenn Heights
Ovilla Glenn Heights
Parker Plano
Red Oak Glenn Heights
Rockwall Dallas, Rowlett
Sachse Garland, Richardson, Rowlett
Seagoville Dallas
Sunnyvale Dallas
The Colony Carrollton, Plano declined membership in original 1983 ballot

Agency Executive Directors

  • Maurice Carter 1982-1984
  • George Bonna (Interim) 1984-1985
  • Ted Tedasco 1985-1986
  • John Hoeft (Interim) 1986
  • Charles Anderson 1986-1992
  • Tony Venturato (Interim) 1992
  • Jack Evans 1992
  • Victor Burke (Interim) 1993
  • Roger Snoble 1993-2001
  • Gary Thomas 2001–present

Criticism of DART

Some people have raised criticisms of the agency.

One common criticism is that the expense of the system is not worth the results. For example, the Dallas Business Journal has noted that despite "$1 billion in taxpayer spending aimed at reducing traffic congestion", the number of people using DART transit to get to work dropped from 40,000 per day in 1990 to 36,900 per day in 2000.[17] Supporters of DART defend such expenses by pointing to statistics showing not just increasing ridership of DART light rail but measurable increases in rents and revenues from nearby commercial properties.[18] Critics of DART argue that these increased rents and revenues are simply a natural result of the government taking money from a wide area and channeling it into concentrated locations, namely the train stations. They believe that the argument that DART has created wealth with its projects is a classic example of the "broken window" fallacy. On the other hand, supporters will point out that transit stations allow cities to take a different and more dense approach to development, an approach that is difficult without the stations. These denser developments allow for increased tax revenue to the cities.

Critics often point to the fact that DART, like other transit agencies, does not cover its operating expenses with farebox and advertising revenues. DART relies on sales tax revenues to make up the difference; from 2002 to 2004, sales tax collections averaged $354 million per year. In 2004 sales tax revenues exceeded operating expenses by $63 million, allowing the agency to apply the excess towards construction of new capital facilities, including rail extensions.[19] While critics argue that DART's planned expansions will likely only increase the size of its annual operating loss, DART proponents respond that the operating cost per passenger mile is at least significantly lower for light rail than for traditional bus service.[20]

Another criticism of DART is that some areas whose residents pay the DART sales tax do not receive much from DART in return. As the Dallas Morning News has reported, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Rowlett have "only bus and paratransit service to show for decades of DART membership" and hundreds of millions of dollars contributed to the agency.[21] However, almost 30 years after joining DART (and after surviving five separate withdrawal proposals between them), both Carrollton and Farmers Branch are scheduled to be served by light rail by 2010, with an extension to Rowlett expected in 2012.[22] It should also be noted that Rowlett voted to join the agency in 1983 with bus-only services (and survived two separate withdrawal proposals); LRT service wasn't planned until the DART board decided to extend the Blue Line at the turn of the century.

DART Financial Scandal

In December 2007, DART revealed that it was facing a $1 billion shortfall in funds earmarked for the Blue Line light rail service to Rowlett, Irving, and DFW Airport. In January 2008, DART announced that it would divert monies from rail lines being built in Dallas. When Dallas officials protested, DART president and executive director Gary Thomas—who had known about the shortfall for at least eight months—announced that the agency would borrow more money instead.

In late January 2008, DART Board chair Lynn Flint Shaw, who was also treasurer of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert's "Friends of Tom Leppert" fund-raising committee, resigned from her DART post. In February, she surrendered to the police on charges of forgery. On March 10, Shaw and her husband, political analyst Rufus Shaw, were found dead in their home in what turned out to be a murder suicide. [23] [24]

Bizarre Moments

There are many bizarre moments that DART operators and riders have encountered.

  • On October 17, 2009; riders who got on the Green Line Light Rail to see the Texas Longhorns take on the Oklahoma Sooners on the annual Red River Rivalry football game faced numerous setbacks and delays after over 60,000 people crowded the light rail cars.[25] DART is coming up with a new plan to handle the customers in the next TX-OU football game including having additional Light Rail cars, plus adding buses as an alternate solution.[26]
  • On January 10, 2010; 70 DART Light Rail riders have participated in Dallas' First Annual "No Pants Day". A few other passengers who witnessed this event called DART Police as riding without pants on is considered Disorderly Conduct.[27]

Media Spotlight

  • Some DART buses and their light rail cars have been featured on some episodes of Cheaters, some segments/programs on The Weather Channel, and in some episodes of Dallas.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.dart.org/about/aboutdart.asp
  2. ^ http://www.dart.org/news.asp?ID=15 DART Breathes Life into Retired Dallas Transit System Bus
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Kelley, Chris (June 16, 1996). "Last original staffer delivered train on time, within budget". The Dallas Morning News, p. 31A.
  5. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/1996/07/22/editorial2.html Keep DART in Irving - Dallas Business Journal
  6. ^ a b Dallas Light Rail
  7. ^ http://www.dart.org/news.asp?ID=714
  8. ^ http://www.dart.org/mis.asp?zeon=DARTRailDouble
  9. ^ http://www.dart.org/nweis/nwfeisfigures.htm NW Corridor FEIS, Figure 2-19 LRT Operating Plan
  10. ^ Community Meeting/Public Hearing Notices - DART Green Line Expansion, 16 November 2006
  11. ^ [2] DART's 2030 plan
  12. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-dart_25met.ART0.North.Edition1.3e3a81a.html DART green-lights 40 miles of new rail for 2030
  13. ^ [3] DART 2030 plan map
  14. ^ DART News Release Regarding Bus Changes on October 6, 2003 Retrieved 22 September 2003.
  15. ^ DART Service Change Information - Section I: New Flex Service
  16. ^ [4] Grapevine transportation election results
  17. ^ http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2002/06/17/editorial4.html DART's billion-dollar boondoggle
  18. ^ http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_000003.htm Dallas Light Rail Sparks Development Boom
  19. ^ http://www.dart.org/DARTAR2004Financials.pdf
  20. ^ http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_dal011.htm Dallas: Light Rail Ridership Heads Toward 70,000 a Day
  21. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/061406dnnatdartsider.825856b8.html DART turns attention to rail growth
  22. ^ http://www.dart.org/mis.asp DART Expansion Plans
  23. ^ Ex-DART Chair Apparent Victim In Murder-Suicide Retrieved 10 November 2009, from cbs11tv.com
  24. ^ Prominent Dallas Couple May Have Had Suicide Pact Retrieved 10 November 2009, from cbs11tv.com
  25. ^ DART seeks solutions after Texas-OU problems - WFAA-TV (released October 20, 2009)
  26. ^ DART reveals plan for 2010 Texas-OU game after rail debacle - WFAA-TV (released December 14, 2009)
  27. ^ Baring dare on DART draws stares - The Dallas Morning News (released Januuary 11, 2010)







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