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Best of 2020: DART Year in Review

2020 is coming to an end. As we all look forward to a better 2021, here’s an opportunity to look back at all DART’s accomplishments this year.

January: Interactive Kiosks Bring Leading Edge Technology to North Texas Riders

In its continued commitment to developing innovative technologies and services that empower customers and move North Texas forward, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) started the installation of more than 300 interactive digital kiosks across the service network with JB Jackson Jr. Transit Center in Dallas.

“Developing transportation and connectivity options is a critical part of improving the quality of life for both DART riders and all North Texas residents,” said Gary Thomas, DART President/Executive Director. “DART is committed to making our entire multimodal transit system flexible, reliable and easy to use by integrating user-centered mobility technology solutions that empower our customers to make travel decisions based on the schedules and modes that work best for them.”

February: Between Car Barriers Added to DART Platforms

DART began installing candlestick-type barriers on all 64 light rail station platforms to prevent injuries from occurring between vehicles. The new barriers alert visually impaired riders that the space between the cars is not a door opening, thereby deterring them from entering the area and causing injury. They also warn individuals from inadvertently stepping off the platform between the coupled cars.

March: DART Licenses GoPass® to MTTA

DART extended the operations of the GoPass® mobile app to the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA) after the Board approved authorizing an Inter-Local Agreement at their March meeting. Created by DART and launched in 2013, GoPass® is the simple way to pay and ride – without the hassle of carrying cash. It was the first public transit ticket-purchasing app in the nation that involved multiple agencies and different types of transportation.

April: DART Buses Deliver Meals for DISD and GISD Students

DART bus operators made sure that Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and Garland Independent School District (GISD) students throughout the region received the meals they need as they learn from home.Knowing the importance of keeping children fed and connected with school, the agencies partnered together to deliver weekly meals for students.

Using DART buses for meal delivery helps DISD and GISD reach families that utilize state-sponsored school lunches, makes it more practical for families that are transit-dependent and helps families that are working. Each bus delivered 1,500 meals, enough for 100 families per bus, 15 meals per student, for a total of 4,500 meals weekly for distribution by DISD employees.

May: DART Continues Focus on Cleaning as Riders Return to Work

DART has aggressively expanded agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols in response to the novel coronavirus and remains committed to doing everything possible to keep patrons and employees safe through this pandemic.

DART Red and Blue Line trains are cleaned every 60 minutes. Orange and Green Line trains are cleaned every 90 minutes. Buses receive cleanings nightly with a focus on high touch areas. High touch surface areas are cleaned with an EPA approved cleaning agent. High touch surfaces include handrails, door buttons, and grab rails.

June: DART Installs COVID-19 Shields on All Buses

DART has installed respiratory droplet shields throughout the bus fleet to help protect operators and passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed by DART Engineering, with collaboration with Fleet Maintenance & Bus Operations teams, the CV-19 Plexiglass Shields are made of high-impact plexiglass and are being installed between the operator and passengers. The shields are in addition to enhanced cleaning procedures for both buses and trains to protect passengers and bus operators. DART began installing the shields as a safety measure to protect operators who continue to provide essential transportation services to riders and businesses, serving as a lifeline for communities and residents across the DART service area.

July: DART Rail Generates $10.27 Billion Near Rail Stations

A new study looking at construction near DART light rail stations shows just how productive and important it is to the overall North Texas economy, generating billions of dollars in revenue, taxes and jobs. Researchers from the Economics Research Group at the University of North Texas (UNT), led by Michael Carroll, Ph.D., reviewed 81 development projects completed within a quarter mile of DART stations with a total property value of $5.138 billion between 2016 and 2018.

  • The total economic impact of the projects created $10.27 billion for the DFW economy and 61,017 construction jobs.
  • The projects generated $286.4 million in state and local tax revenue.
  • Projects within a quarter mile of the Downtown Dallas to Bishop Arts streetcar route saw $200.7 million in development with a corresponding economic impact of $454.7 million.
  • The streetcar projects created 2,701 jobs over the period and generated $12.6 million in state and local taxes.
  • Properties surrounding DART stations rent for substantially more than surrounding projects. Residential properties have a 17.9% rent premium and commercial and office space have premiums of 23% and 5.8% respectively.
August: DART Installs Mask and Sanitizer Dispensers On-Board Vehicles

The DART Engineering Department has installed face mask and hand sanitizer dispensers on more than 600 buses, 160 light rail vehicles and 4 streetcars. The mask and hand sanitizer dispensers are in addition to DART’s aggressive agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols in response to the coronavirus, including removing vehicles from service that have been exposed to biohazard situations from passengers.

September: Richardson Gets Silver Line Rail Delivery

The newest shipment of rail for the DART Silver Line project made its way to Richardson. The most recent delivery of 50 rail segments was off-loaded between Renner Road and Custer Parkway, south of President George Bush Turnpike, after arriving by train from Steel Dynamics, Inc. in Columbia City, Ind. Each 1,500 ft. long segment will become part of the 26-mile Silver Line Regional Rail Project currently under construction between Plano and DFW Airport. The alignment will traverse the cities of Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano. Revenue service is expected to begin in 2023.

October: North Texas Public Transit Agencies Providing Free Rides for Election 2020

DART once again provided free trips to voting locations across the service area. Voters could ride at no charge on all DART bus, light rail, Dallas Streetcar, GoLink and Paratransit service, and on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) between EBJ Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Airport Station.

November: DART Invites Residents to View Silver Line Betterment Wall Mock-ups

DART invited residents to view the betterments/sound wall mock-ups now available across the Silver Line alignment. The betterments/sound wall color and finish for each neighborhood were voted on by residents and stakeholders through a robust and inclusive community engagement process. The mock-ups provided the community an up-close look at the various wall color and finish selections. Attendees saw the Durisol Absorptive Wall System that will be used on the trackside of the alignment and the Precast Concrete Reflective Wall to be used on the neighborhood-side of the alignment.

The 26-mile Silver Line Regional Rail Project is currently under construction between DFW Airport, Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano.

December: DART D2 Subway Project Named Global Light Rail Award “Vision of the Year”

At this year’s Global Light Rail Awards, recognizing excellence and innovation in the global light and urban rail sector, DART was named the winner of the “Vision of the Year” for the D2 Subway project. The DART D2 Subway project is the future second light rail line through downtown Dallas that extends from Victory Park to Deep Ellum. The D2 project reached the 30% level of preliminary design in October.

For more information on Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), click here.

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