DART HistorySelect a year from the list below to view DART history.
August 13, 1983
DART is created when 58 percent of voters in 14 cities and Dallas County cast more than 101,000 ballots in favor of regional transportation.
DART assumes operations of Dallas Transit System and cuts the base bus fare from 70 to 50 cents, and senior fares from 25 to 15 cents.
The voter-approved one-cent sales tax takes effect and DART officially begins operations. Staff begins work on bus service improvements, rail transit, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, carpooling, and mobility-impaired transit planning.
DART introduces the first phase of suburban bus service through a contract with Trailways Commuter Transit, now ATE -- a privatization project that garners national attention.
DART begins operating mid-day service, adding 57 buses on 37 area routes. Crosstown service is initiated between Irving and Garland.
DART begins new non-stop express bus service between downtown Dallas and suburban member cities including Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Flower Mound, Glenn Heights, Richardson, Plano and Rowlett.
DART doubles the number of arrivals and departures on existing express bus service between Irving and Garland.
The DART Board selects light rail as the preferred mode for a planned 147-mile network. Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas is named DART's general engineering consultant.
DART adds 74 buses on 54 routes, expands rush hour service on 33 routes and introduces more crosstown service. DART adds suburban express service between South Irving and downtown Dallas. Urban local bus operations are strengthened with completion of the $2 million bus maintenance facility on East Grand Avenue.
The City of Buckingham joins DART.
The bus network expansion continues as ridership more than doubles during the first six months, prompting DART to add nine additional express coaches to its fleet.
A major staff financial review reveals that revenue resources through 2010 will not be sufficient to build 147 miles of rail.
Carrollton and Farmers Branch citizens overwhelmingly vote to continue membership in DART with 69 and 61 percent margins, respectively.
Suburban cities receive connecting bus service with the first phase of the suburban local bus network. New routes are added in Addison, Buckingham, Carrollton, northern Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Irving, Plano and Richardson.
DART takes direct responsibility for the City of Dallas HandiRides program for mobility impaired citizens. In four months, DART expands the service into all member cities.
DART initiates the second phase of the suburban local bus network with input from over 50 community meetings, making it one of the fastest bus network startups in transit history.
The Board revises the DART Service Plan to provide 93 miles of light rail transit including seven miles of subways.
Bus ridership peaks with an average of 199,000 weekday riders.
DART acquires 9.8 acres of land for the West Plano Transit Center and 10.7 acres for the North Carrollton Transit Center. DART acquires 2.3 acres from Railtran for the new South Irving Transit Center.
The drop in gasoline prices, rise in unemployment, and the resulting ridership patterns encourage DART to begin a bus system redesign process to bring service in line with demand and create a cost-efficient bus network. The service plan calls for a new fare policy to lessen DART's reliance on sales tax revenue to cover operating costs.
Staff begins development of a 20-year Transit System Plan with light rail, commuter rail and HOV lanes included.
DART begins formal acquisition of Dallas Transit System.
DART expands suburban bus service.
The DART Board chooses the rail car size and the initial rail section phasing.
The DART financial staff concludes that the 93-mile light rail transit network can be built within the schedule but only through use of long-term bonds.
The Board approves a bond election to be held in 1988. HandiRides van service for mobility-impaired customers is expanded to all DART cities.
DART acquires an additional 1.2 acres of land for expansion of the South Irving Transit Center.
DART formally acquires Dallas Transit System and its operations from the City of Dallas.
DART purchases 34.28 miles of railroad right-of-way (ROW) from the Southern Pacific Transportation Company - 27.48 miles of ROW for transit use and 6.8 miles for a future linear park.
DART begins construction and placement of 280 high-boarding area bus shelters. Over 600 benches are installed through 1993.
Bus ridership hits 150,000 passenger trips per weekday.
DART acquires 8.2 acres of land for the Red Bird Transit Center.
By a 58 to 42 percent margin, citizens turn down a proposition to allow DART to issue long-term bonds for capital projects, including rail.
The DART Board gives staff direction to prepare a new Transit System Plan by April 1989.
DART begins operations from the new North Carrollton and South Irving transit centers, acquires 14.9 acres for the Richardson Transit Center and donates .4 acres to the City of Richardson for road improvements.
More than 100 community meetings are conducted to provide citizen input into the development of the new Transit System Plan.
DARTAbout suburban mobility van service is introduced with 12 passenger, lift-equipped vans in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Addison, Richardson, Plano, Buckingham, Garland, Rowlett and Irving. A jitney service is implemented on some suburban routes to give passengers more accessibility to activity centers.
The West Plano Transit Center opens for operations.
The DART Board approves the new DART Transit System Plan, moving the agency from the planning modes to major construction. The Board also approves the local and technical assistance programs for member city regional transportation support.
May 6, 1989
Flower Mound votes to withdraw from DART by a 67 to 33 percent margin.
The Town of Buckingham cancels its withdrawal election.
Voters in Carrollton, Irving, Plano and Rowlett vote to remain in DART. Coppell votes to withdraw by a 20-vote margin.
The DART Board approves the creation of an armed transit police force to make random bus checks, monitor crowded bus stops and respond to emergency calls.
Farmers Branch and Garland voters overwhelmingly elect to remain in DART.
The Red Bird Transit Center opens for operations.
Addison cancels its withdrawal election from DART.
The Richardson Transit Center opens for operations.
DART trades its complex zone-based fare structure for fares based on service type. This action made local fares 75 cents, and express and DARTAbout service $1.75. Fares for students and mobility-impaired customers are reduced from 35 to 25 cents, and senior fares remain at 25 cents.
The DART Division of Transit Public Safety becomes operational with 25 veteran peace officers.
DART completes a formal agreement with Union Pacific Railroad to acquire almost 80 percent of the total operating rights/rights of way needed for planned rail operations. The agreement includes 32.01 miles of ROW and the operating rights between Dallas and Fort Worth along the Railtran corridor for TRE.
DART begins light rail transit construction with San Jacinto Street relocation.
DART acquires 54.07 miles of railroad ROW for the Cotton Belt from St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. for transit use after the year 2010.
December 7, 1990
DART breaks ground for the I-30 Interim HOV lane.
DART releases the Five-Year Operating Plan that shifts bus service centered from downtown Dallas to a grid network which will feed planned rail stations. More crosstown routes are initiated to reflect the new operations plan.
DART opens the I-30 HOV lane for operations.
DART begins an intensive Value Analysis process prompted by staff projections of cash shortfalls over the next 10 years. The three-month internal review results in the removal of 28 projects from DART's Five-Year Financial Plan. Operating and administrative costs are reduced based on results that cut $300 million from DART's five-year budget forecast.
The DART Board approves the Five-Year Financial Plan with provisions limiting project costs.
DART begins major construction with the Trinity River rail bridge and the North Central subway tunnels.
The East Plano Transit Center opens for operations.
DART enters a three-phased cost-containment plan with the elimination of the Planning and Administration departments.
DART announces the elimination of 60 administrative positions and a $12-15 million reduction in consultant fees. The 1993 Fiscal Year (FY) budget mirrors cost-savings efforts and includes no employee merit pay raises.
DART begins study of rail transit alternatives along North Central Expressway north of Park Lane.
Ground is broken for the South Garland Transit Center.
DART begins construction on the West Oak Cliff rail line.
A series of community meetings leads to 38 bus service changes, eliminating $2 million in unproductive bus service miles. DART begins construction on the light rail vehicle Service and Inspection Facility at the former Santa Fe rail yard southeast of downtown Dallas.
DART begins utility relocation work for the 1.1-mile transitway mall in the Dallas Central Business District.
The Garland Central and North Irving transit centers open for operations, and ground is broken for the Lake Ray Hubbard Transit Center.
DART receives $82.6 million in federal funding for the South Oak Cliff light rail project.
DART adds evening holiday service to area malls.
DART's construction crews complete mining for final tunnel breakthrough on the second of two 3.5-mile light rail subway tunnels under North Central Expressway.
An approved Railtran Interlocal Cooperative Agreement moves the agency closer to delivering commuter rail service between Dallas and Fort Worth.
DART's Board of Directors retains its 30 percent contract participation goals for the Minority Business Enterprise program for Fiscal Year 1994.
DART's Board of Directors approves a Financial Plan amendment for a $6 million funding package for the three-mile South Oak Cliff light rail project. The amendment approves $2 million to add two median crossings on Lancaster Road requested by the community and the Dallas City Council.
DART reduces its regular fare to just 25 cents on Ozone Action days, 15 cents for senior citizens.
DART introduces advertisers to "wrapped buses." The technique -- in which the entire exterior of a bus becomes a rolling billboard -- has the potential to increase advertising revenues by $1 million.
DART's Board approves a new transit security plan authorizing 19 additional transit police officers.
DART's executive team begins briefing member cities on the agency's options for build out and financing of the DART Transit System Plan.
DART celebrates the opening of the Illinois Transit Center -- the first bus and rail passenger facility -- with three customer/community events.
DART's Board of Directors approves a $33.6 million construction contract to build a 2.9-mile light rail line through South Oak Cliff. DART holds public hearings to hear community rail concerns and present a neighborhood job program.
Trailways Commuter Transit replaces Crawford Technical Services as van provider for DART Paratransit Services.
DART implements its first fare increase in more than a decade. Despite the change, total passenger boardings (including charter) total 45.5 million in Fiscal Year 1995 -- only slightly lower than the previous year -- and passenger revenue increases by 9 percent to $25.9 million.
Thirty additional Transit Police officers are added, along with 22 new squad cars and two bicycles to initiate the force's first bike patrol. Station agents are hired to staff transit centers, assisting passengers with service information and providing full-time security surveillance. The Hampton Transit Center becomes the second bus transfer facility to be opened at the site of a future light rail station.
The first of 40 light rail vehicles arrives for testing at the Service & Inspection Facility.
New Transportation Demand Management representatives are hired, making it possible for DART to reach nearly 500 companies in the three-county non-attainment area -- Denton, Collin and Dallas counties -- organizing carpools, vanpools and even innovative telecommuting programs.
Ground is broken for new HOV lanes along I-35E and LBJ Freeway (635) in July and August, respectively.
A fleet of 110, 24-foot vans is purchased for DART's paratransit service.
More than 300,000 State Fair visitors take the public's first official look at a DART light rail vehicle.
After nearly two years of community negotiations among 14 member cities, the DART Board votes to revise its Transit System Plan. Reflecting the North Central Texas Council of Governments' Mobility 2010 Plan, the new plan includes: 53 miles of light rail transit; 98 miles of HOV lanes; 37 miles of commuter rail transit linking Dallas and Fort Worth with extensions to D/FW International Airport and the I-35E corridor; ridesharing, telecommuting and other trip reduction support programs; and redeployment of existing buses with initiation of rail services, and use of smaller transit buses.
» View the 1995 Transit System Plan Map
Garland citizens vote overwhelmingly (2 to 1) to retain membership in DART.
Through a contract with Gray Line, the Vanpool Incentive Program (VIP) is introduced, offering passenger rates structured to save the average commuter more than $200 per month; simultaneously, a Central Business District Transportation Management Association is formed to design customized commuting programs for businesses.
The Town of Buckingham is annexed by Richardson, reducing the number of DART Member Cities to 13.
Dedication ceremonies are held at South Irving Transit Center initiating construction of the passenger station to serve commuter rail customers in December.
June 14, 1996
The first 11.2 miles of DART's 20-mile light rail transit starter system open on time and within budget, with weekend festivities followed by a week of free rides. Revenue service begins June 24, coinciding with the opening of the CBD West Bus Transfer Center in downtown Dallas.
Initial light rail ridership exceeds all expectations, averaging more than 18,000 daily passengers as opposed to the projected 15,000.
Withdrawal elections are planned in the cities of Carrollton, Irving, Plano and Rowlett for August 10. The citizens in all four cities vote to remain in DART with 77, 57, 77 and 67 percent, respectively, voting "Yes."
DART opens new HOV lanes on I-35E, Stemmons Freeway, north of LBJ Freeway.
DART opens the first 10-mile segment of the new Trinity Railway Express commuter rail service linking Dallas and Irving with a stop at the Medical/Market Center. Service will be extended to Fort Worth.
DART extends the light rail system six miles northward along North Central Expressway (US Highway 75) between downtown Dallas and Park Lane. The new line includes a 3.5-mile subway from downtown to the new Mockingbird Station, making it possible for commuters to make the trip between Park Lane and downtown in just 14 minutes. The opening of the new line nearly doubles ridership on the new light rail system to approximately 30,000 passengers per day. The start of expanded rail service coincides with the opening of the CBD East Bus Transfer Center - the second of two such facilities in downtown Dallas.
DART opens new HOV lanes on 635 -- the state's most congested thoroughfare. The new eastbound lane stretches from Stemmons Freeway to just west of US Highway 75. The westbound lane begins just west of Hillcrest Road, and then merges with southbound Stemmons Freeway traffic. The lanes are expected to save commuters about six minutes in the morning rush hours and 13 minutes during the evening rush hours.
The DART Board of Directors approves the multi-year purchase of 433 new buses, including 110 which will operate on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The first 103 buses, 50 of which will be LNG-powered, are scheduled for delivery in spring 1998. All of the new 40-foot buses will be equipped with wheelchair lifts for disabled customers and new on-board security camera systems.
May 31, 1997
DART completes the 20-mile light rail starter system with the opening of the three-mile long extension of its Blue Line through the South Oak Cliff section of Dallas. This section of track runs south from the Illinois Station in the center of Lancaster Road to the new Ledbetter Station with an intermediate stop at the VA Medical Center Station.
DART begins acquisition of 5.25 miles of railroad right-of-way and land from Union Pacific for a light rail extension from Garland to Rowlett. The project calls for a site to be used as a park and ride transit center with 355 parking spaces beginning in 2000. The center will become a rail station with parking for approximately 700 vehicles when light rail arrives in Rowlett.
July 10, 1997
DART and NorthPark Center begin a six-month trial of the NorthPark Center Executive Shuttle -- a free shuttle bus service between the internationally-recognized north Dallas shopping mall and DART's Park Lane Station.
DART is named Transit Agency of the Year by the American Public Transit Association, the highest honor in the industry.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awards DART $13.7 million for the light rail extension from Park Lane in north Dallas to Plano.
October 14, 1997
The DART Board orders 34 additional light rail vehicles (LRVs) from Kinkisharyo, USA, manufacturers of DART's original 40 LRVs. The value of the contract is $93.43 million. The LRVs are scheduled to begin service in June 1999.
DART Paratransit Services launches Paracom I, a state-of-the-art customer communications system. The system is designed to enhance the efficiency of DART's paratransit fleet.
DART reports serving nearly 70 million passengers during Fiscal Year 1997 -- a 44 percent increase over the 48.5 million passengers served in Fiscal Year 1996. In Fiscal Year 1997, DART buses and paratransit vans carried more than 44.5 million, nearly 8.2 million passengers rode DART light rail or commuter rail and nearly 17.2 million used DART's three HOV lanes.
December 9, 1997
The DART Board votes to accelerate light rail construction to the member cities of Garland, Richardson and Plano and to double-track the rail line where single-track lines were initially planned. Where possible, service will be phased-in along those rail extensions as construction is completed.
The DART Board also restructures the March 1997 bus order from NOVA Bus to purchase more total buses and more buses powered by LNG. The new bus plan includes the purchase of 20 trolley buses manufactured by Chance Coach. The trolley buses will be primarily used on circulator routes. The purchase price for the 20 trolley buses is $6.2 million.
December 15, 1997
Trinity Railway Express commuter rail extends its schedule to full day and evening service on weekdays.
February 19, 1998
Construction begins on new HOV lanes running between I-20 and downtown Dallas. The 11.1-mile lanes will run along US 67 Marvin D. Love Freeway and I-35E, south of downtown Dallas. They are scheduled to open in late 1999.
March 30, 1998
DART carries out the agency's largest-ever service change. All routes in DART's 700-square mile service area are changed to a number-only system and new signage is put in place at each of DART's more than 11,000 bus stop signs. The route numbering system is overhauled to make it more consistent and easier for current and potential customers to use. The package includes new express service to employment centers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from downtown Dallas as part of a regional welfare-to-work initiative.
April 28, 1998
The DART Board votes to purchase 21 additional LRVs from Kinkisharyo, USA. The new purchase is in addition to the 34 LRVs ordered in October 1997. This order brings the fleet to 95. The contract price for the 21 vehicles is $60.21 million.
DART introduces the first of a fleet of 488 new state-of-the-art buses built by Nova BUS of Roswell, New Mexico.
August 3, 1998
DART introduces its fleet of Trolley-Buses built by Chance Coach. The initial routes serve downtown Dallas, Lancaster Road in south Dallas, Richardson's Telecom Corridor, Las Colinas and the NorthPark Shopping Center.
More than 1 million passenger trips are made on DART's light rail system during the month of September. Average weekday ridership exceeds 40,000.
October 1, 1998
DART marks the close of Fiscal Year 1998 with a ridership gain of nearly 16 million passenger trips over Fiscal Year 1997. More than 85 million passenger trips are made during the year on DART's network of buses, light rail, commuter rail and HOV lanes.
December 5, 1998
The Trinity Railway Express adds Saturday service. Nearly 3,000 customers ride the first day.
January 7, 1999
DART begins light rail construction in Garland.
February 22, 1999
The Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas estimates DART is providing a hefty boost to the North Texas economy, with a total regional impact assessed at $3.7 billion and more than 32,000 jobs through 2003.
June 7, 1999
DART opens the Addison Transit Center, Addison's first permanent DART facility, on Arapaho Road between Quorum Drive and Addison Road in the heart of the developing Addison Urban Center.
DART begins testing a limited-area home pickup and delivery service that will respond to customers who call the driver's cell phone. DART On-Call uses vans to ferry customers to and from the East Plano Transit Center during peak times, and to shopping and school destinations in the middle of the day.
DART opens a new Paratransit Assessment Center to assist paratransit customers undergoing federally-mandated eligibility reviews. All light rail and commuter rail cars are wheelchair accessible, and more than half of the 800 buses are accessible. By 2002, all DART transit vehicles are projected to be accessible.
Southern Methodist University, in conjunction with DART, begins providing transportation at no cost to students, faculty and staff throughout the DART system.
September 19, 1999
DART Transit Police celebrates 10 years of service. The force has grown to 143 sworn Texas peace officers and eight administrative personnel. Much of the growth is connected to the 1996 opening of DART's 20-mile light rail starter system.
September 27, 1999
DART expands service on the Blue Line between downtown Dallas and Mockingbird Station. Over the next several months, DART will add 55 light rail cars, doubling the current fleet to provide service to White Rock Station in fall 2001, Richardson by summer 2002, Garland by fall 2002 and Plano by summer 2003.
September 28, 1999
DART's Board of Directors approves a $831.2 million budget for Fiscal Year 2000 as part of a five-year business plan to expand service throughout the region.
October 2, 1999
The Federal Transit Administration enters into a $333 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with DART, ensuring the North Central Light Rail expansion to Richardson and Plano will proceed on schedule. The FFGA is the first executed under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21).
For the third year in a row, DART's total ridership grows, with Fiscal Year 1999 passenger trips reaching 91.2 million -- a 6.5 percent gain.
January 15, 2000
DART receives Garland's Community Appreciation Award. The award is presented by the Garland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
February 4, 2000
DART joins Garland officials and the Garland Chamber of Commerce to host a special conference on transit-oriented development opportunities around Garland-area rail stations opening in 2002. The stations will be located near the intersection of Forest Lane and Jupiter Road, and at DART's Garland Central Transit Center in downtown.
DART completes the Northwest Corridor Major Investment Study (MIS) by selecting the rail routes for light rail service to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Irving, and eventually Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This action increases the amount of light rail to be built under the Transit System Plan to 93 miles.
DART opens its newest bus maintenance center, the South Oak Cliff Bus Operating Facility (SOCBOF), as part of DART's 5-year bus improvement program. SOCBOF replaces the Oak Cliff bus facility.
April 26, 2000
DART, the City of Dallas, the Central Dallas Association, and the Downtown Improvement District combine resources to open the Pearl Street Connector, a landscaped walkway linking the Pearl Station to the East Transfer Center. A Federal Transit Authority Livable Communities grant of $457,000 provides 80 percent of the funding.
DART completes the Southeast Corridor Major Investment Study (MIS) by finalizing the rail routes for light rail service to Fair Park and Pleasant Grove.
May 22, 2000
DART opens the Rowlett Park & Ride, adding more bus service to Rowlett and bringing the DART On-Call service to town. The park and ride center is on the site of a future Rowlett light rail station.
June 5, 2000
The first 2.5 miles of the 11-mile High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-35E/US 67 open.
June 12, 2000
The DART Board of Directors schedules an August 12, 2000, election to allow voters to decide whether the agency should use long-term financing to upgrade and accelerate future light rail lines to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, North Irving, South Dallas, Fair Park, Pleasant Grove and Rowlett.
August 1, 2000
DART opens the Cockrell Hill Passenger Transfer Location. This new facility is air-conditioned, and has restrooms, telephones, information kiosks, vending machines and a station agent on duty.
August 10, 2000
DART opens the Bernal/Singleton Passenger Transfer Location. This new facility is air-conditioned, and has restrooms, telephones, information kiosks, vending machines and a station agent on duty.
August 12, 2000
Voters in DART's 13 member cities approve $2.9 billion in long-term financing to upgrade and accelerate future light rail lines. More than 77 percent of the 33,603 voters casting ballots in the August 12, 2000, election support the proposition.
August 28, 2000
DART adds 2.6 more miles to the new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-35E/US 67. DART now has 23 miles of HOV lanes in four corridors.
September 18, 2000
Trinity Railway Express Commuter Rail expands service to three new Tarrant County stations - the Richland Hills station, the Hurst/Bell station and the CentrePort/DFW Airport station.
September 27, 2000
DART's Board of Directors approves a $687.2 million budget for Fiscal Year 2001 that keeps the largest light rail expansion program in North America moving and puts DART on target to carry more than 100 million commuters in the year ahead.
November 13, 2000
DART opens the West Irving Trinity Railway Express Commuter Rail Station.
December 4, 2000
DART's Board of Directors orders 160 new clean fuel buses with state-of-the-art customer amenities and engines that will meet increasingly stringent state and federal emissions standards.
December 18, 2000
Cityplace Station, the Southwest's first subway station, opens. Cityplace Station has Texas-style dimensions, including six pairs of escalators. The tri-level facility reaches depths of 120 feet underneath North Central Expressway.
For the fourth consecutive year, DART's total ridership grows, with fiscal year 2000 passenger trips reaching 94.7 million, for a 3.8 percent gain.
February 22, 2001
DART begins 321 GO door-to-door service. The program, named 321 GO after the bus route, is DART's first demonstration of Personalized Public Transit (PPT), a high-tech program that uses satellites to plan a flexible bus route.
February 28, 2001
DART and four local chambers of commerce sign Memoranda of Understanding, making joint commitments to increase minority participation in DART contracts and hiring.
March 21, 2001
DART debuts the 30-foot iBus at the Dallas Auto Show.
June 14, 2001
DART Rail celebrates its 5th birthday. Since opening light rail in 1996, total passengers trips reach nearly 50,000,000 on the light rail starter system.
September 24, 2001
DART discontinues the use of transfer slips and streamlines pass and ticket programs. A $2 Day Pass takes the place of transfer slips. The new fare structure also discontinues the $2 employers' discount for Monthly Passes and the 11-ride bonus pack. A new DART Annual Pass allows customers unlimited rides all year long.
September 24, 2001
White Rock Station, three miles northeast of Mockingbird Station, opens at East Northwest Highway and West Lawther Drive, the initial stop on the northeast rail extension to downtown Garland in 2002. The park-and-ride station is the first light rail expansion since the debut of the 20-mile starter system in 1996.
September 28, 2001
DART's Board of Directors approves a $606.3 million budget for Fiscal Year 2002 that keeps the largest multimodal transit expansion program in North America going.
October 2, 2001
DART's Board Chairman Jesse Oliver is named the American Public Transportation Association's Outstanding Board Member. An eight-year member of the DART Board of Directors -- and chairman since 1999 -- he is a driving force behind the successful debut of a multi-modal system of buses, light rail, commuter rail, paratransit and High Occupancy Vehicle lanes serving the dynamic North Texas region.
October 18, 2001
DART begins a new Major Investment Study (MIS) in east Dallas County, involving the community in the development and evaluation of alternative transportation improvement strategies. The study area includes parts of Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Rowlett and Sunnyvale.
December 3, 2001
The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service -- a joint project of DART and the Fort Worth T -- expands to link Dallas and Fort Worth with passenger rail service for the first time since the mid-1930s. The TRE is projected to carry more than 11,000 riders daily by 2010.
For the fifth consecutive year, DART's total ridership grows, with fiscal year 2001 passenger trips reaching 95.6 million passenger trips.
February 25, 2002
DART's new Lake June Transit Center makes riding the bus better than ever for Southeast Dallas commuters. The new $4.9-million facility, served by three major bus routes, features enclosed, climate-controlled waiting areas, vending machines and 447 free parking spaces.
March 11, 2002
DART opens the final section of a new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane along I-35E and U.S. 67 south of downtown Dallas to Loop 12, completing an 11-mile HOV section that can save commuters an estimated 15 minutes or more each way. The new system is expected to serve around 19,000 commuters daily.
April 29, 2002
DART opens a new $400,000 bus patron facility at one of its busiest stops, 912 Commerce Street, in downtown Dallas. A joint project of DART, The Belo Corporation, the City of Dallas and McDonald's, the $400,000 Commerce Street project is the first of two new city oases planned for downtown Dallas.
May 6, 2002
DART Rail pushes past LBJ Freeway with the opening of LBJ/Skillman Station. DART's 23rd light rail station extends the Blue Line 3.5 miles from White Rock Station to serve Northeast Dallas. The station has 646 free parking spaces, passenger shelters, seating and telephones.
July 1, 2002
DART Rail reaches North Dallas and Richardson with seven new stations, extending the Red Line by more than nine miles. In Dallas, new rail stops include a new Park Lane Station, Walnut Hill Station, Forest Lane Station and LBJ/Central Station. In Richardson, DART trains stop at the new Spring Valley Station, Arapaho Center Station and Galatyn Park Station. Richardson is the first North Texas suburb to welcome DART light rail into its city limits.
November 18, 2002
DART Rail rolls into Garland with the openings of the new Forest/Jupiter and Downtown Garland stations. The rail expansion extends DART's Blue Line more than four miles, bringing the light rail system to 41 miles and 31 stations. Downtown Garland Station has 700 parking spaces and is located at Fifth and Walnut streets next to the Garland Central Transit Center. Forest/Jupiter Station, located on Forest Lane near Jupiter Road, has 561 parking spaces.
December 9, 2002
DART Rail reaches Richardson and Plano six months ahead of schedule. The rail expansion extends DART's Red Line three miles and adds three stations: Bush Turnpike Station in Richardson, Downtown Plano Station (15th St. and Ave. J) and Parker Road Station near the current East Plano Transit Center. The opening of the stations brings the DART Rail System to 44 miles and 34 stations, completing one of the largest rail expansion projects in North America and doubling DART's six-year-old, 20-mile light rail system.
January 6, 2003
DART's official website, www.DART.org, rolls out a new trip planner allowing riders to plan bus and rail trips from the convenience of their personal computers. The technology behind the trip planner is a slimmed-down version of that used by DART's customer service representatives and supplements the efforts of the representatives.
A new University of North Texas study shows DART Rail stations add value to nearby properties, particularly residential and office. According to the study, office properties near suburban DART Rail stations increased in value 53% more than comparable properties not served by rail, and values of residential properties rose 39% more than a group of control properties not served by rail.
Between 1997 and 2001, the mean value of 47 office properties near DART increased 24.7%, compared with an increase of 11.5% for 121 properties not near the stations, giving the DART office buildings the 53% advantage. The mean value of 3,262 residential properties near DART increased 32.1% versus an increase of 19.5% in the mean value of 4,393 properties not near the stations, for the 39% advantage, the study found.
February 21, 2003
DART breaks ground for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center near Fair Park. The transit center will ultimately serve as a rail station on the Southeast Corridor linking downtown Dallas and Pleasant Grove. The $3 million facility, scheduled to open in 2004, will feature enclosed, climate-controlled waiting areas, vending machines, restrooms and more than 200 free parking spaces.
To give customers more value for their transit pass, the agency introduces DART destination deals. The deals feature discounts at stores, restaurants and attractions located within a quarter-mile of a DART Rail station or along a streetcar route connected to a station. Customers only have to present a valid DART ticket or pass to receive the discount.
DART and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority join forces to expand the popular destination deals program to Tarrant County and stations served by the Trinity Railway Express. The program encourages shoppers, diners and fun-seekers to patronize businesses served by transit. Participating establishments provide discounts and other money-saving deals to anyone with a valid DART, TRE or Fort Worth T ticket or pass. More than 500 businesses participate in the program.
DART's teamwork approach to creating economic opportunities for North Texas businesses is recognized with the "Sharing Success Award" by the publishers of four minority business newspapers. Presented by MCompany, the award commends the transit agency's efforts toward creating a level playing field in contracting for professional services and purchasing initiatives. The award recognizes supplier diversity among North Texas government agencies, transportation providers and educational institutions. DART was recognized as one of the "Best of the Decade in Supplier Diversity Procurement in the Public and Nonprofit Sector." DART paid more than $30 million to disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses in FY02, more than 25% of its total vendor activity.
DART marks 20 years of service to north Texas with a month-long customer celebration. Customers receive special discounts at participating merchants and compete for prizes. Customer appreciation events are held at DART facilities throughout the service area.
The Malcolm X Bus Shelter opens. The shelter is the first facility of its kind in the DART system, and it will serve as a model for bus shelters to come. The off-street enhanced shelter features air ventilation, infrared heaters, landscaping, telephones and passenger information. The facility is part of the Malcolm X Bus Corridor development - the first of several planned DART Bus Corridors, which will incorporate successful elements of DART Rail, such as increased speeds and frequencies, as well as attractive and convenient waiting environments.
DART continues to modernize its fleet and to increase its environmental friendliness. Having retrofitted 360 of its older buses to run on ultra-low-sulfur-diesel, the agency rolls out 80 more brand-new buses made by North American Bus Industries. The buses, which also use ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, are more than three times cleaner than the buses they replace. DART has replaced 710 buses since 1996.
February 21, 2005
DART opens the J. B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center near Fair Park. The transit center, which is scheduled to become part of the DART Rail System as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Station, is rich with art and architecture expressing the history of the South Dallas neighborhood and the African heritage claimed by most of its residents. Special care was also taken to create a focal point for the community and a fitting tribute to Jackson, a political activist and a board member in DART's early years.
June 14, 2006
DART marks the 10th anniversary of the start of light rail service. Customer events are held throughout the month to celebrate. The rail line began with an 11-mile network linking downtown Dallas with the West and South Oak Cliff sections of the city. Today it is a 45-mile network extending from Plano in the north, Garland in the northeast, through downtown Dallas and on to the West and South Oak Cliff sections of the city.
July 3, 2006
The Federal Transit Administration approves a $700-million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) to kick-start a $2.5-billion expansion that will lead to the doubling of the DART Rail System to 90 miles by 2013. The grant is the largest ever awarded to DART. The FFGA - in which the federal government makes a commitment to fund a transportation project over a number of years - will support a 21-mile northwest/southeast "connector" linking Farmers Branch and the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas. When complete in 2010, the Green Line will serve several regional destinations including Deep Ellum, Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park, Victory Park, the Dallas Market Center, the Southwestern Medical District, Love Field Airport and downtown Farmers Branch.
October 24, 2006
The DART Board of Directors unanimously approves the blueprint for the next generation of bus, rail and high occupancy vehicle services in North Texas with the passage of the 2030 Transit System Plan. The plan covers projects to be undertaken by the transit agency through 2030 in the 13-city DART Service Area. The 2030 DART Transit System Plan approved by the board identifies, schedules and budgets system improvement projects that will more precisely respond to changing regional land use and development patterns. The projects will be funded primarily by revenues from the one-cent sales tax levied in DART's 13 member cities. The plan also extends DART's reach with rail service to the outlying areas of the DART Service Area, paving the way for potential new member cities.
December 30, 2006
DART marks the 10th anniversary of the Trinity Railway Express. The southwest's first commuter rail line — a 10-mile route linked Union Station in Downtown Dallas to Irving when it debuted — now connects Dallas and Fort Worth on a 35-mile-long route running parallel to the Trinity River. The TRE is a joint service of DART and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T).
For the second consecutive year, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber (GDHCC) honors DART with the Unidos Award for its contribution to the growth of Hispanic businesses in North Texas.
DART launches a comprehensive two-year Downtown Transit Study, which could result in a second Central Business District (CBD) rail line, as well as bus and streetcar improvements. The agency will focus on a broad transit corridor extending from Victory Park to Deep Ellum and target areas currently not directly served by DART Rail.
The University of North Texas Center for Economic Development and Research release a study estimating billions in economic activity from the North Texas region's investment of $4.86 billion to build DART's current 45-mile light rail system and the planned 48-mile expansion.
July 31, 2007
DART kicks off the 50-mile HOV lane system expansion to its 31-mile HOV lane network when it opens the first six miles of a new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane that eventually will stretch between Dallas and Fort Worth on Tom Landry Freeway (I-30). The first section open is between the Dallas/Tarrant County Line and Loop 12. The lanes are available to vehicles with two or more occupants, buses, motorcycles and other eligible vehicles, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Other lanes set to open throughout Fall 2007 are on Central Expressway (U.S. 75), LBJ Freeway (I-635), and East R. L. Thornton (I-30).
August 30, 2007
Farmers Branch officials break ground for the future Farmers Branch Station, scheduled to open in December 2010 as part of the Green Line. Located at the site of the present Farmers Branch Transit Center, city officials plan to create a town center environment around the station with transit-oriented development featuring a mix of retail, professional services, restaurants and residential projects.
September 8, 2007
The City of Carrollton hosts a groundbreaking near the site of the future Downtown Carrollton Station, one of three Carrollton stations scheduled to open on the Green Line in December 2010. The other stations are Trinity Mills Station and North Carrollton/Frankford Station. The North Carrollton Station will mark the northern terminus of the Green Line and is planned to serve as a connection with rail service operated by the Denton County Transit Authority.
December 4, 2007
Citing escalating costs of construction materials and services worldwide, DART officials announce plans to trim up to $900 million in projected costs for future light rail extensions to North Irving, DFW International Airport and Rowlett. The $900-million figure is a "preliminary" target identified during a project update at the 10% design stage -- an early point in the cost estimation of DART's rail projects. Additional project updates are performed as planners and engineers complete 30%, 65% and 90% levels of design in preparation for actual construction. The 20-Year Financial Plan included $988 million for the Irving/Rowlett rail extensions, and the $900 million escalation would bring the actual cost closer to $1.9 billion. The Irving/Rowlett review would not affect construction of DART's $1.7 billion, 28-mile Green Line, which begins opening with service to Fair Park in September 2009. The Green Line will stretch from Pleasant Grove in Southeast Dallas, through Deep Ellum and downtown Dallas, to the Medical/Market District, Love Field Airport, Farmers Branch and Carrollton.
December 17, 2007
DART adds six miles of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-30 (East R.L. Thornton Freeway) extending the lanes from Jim Miller Road in East Dallas, past LBJ Freeway, to Northwest Drive in Mesquite. The current I-30 (East R. L. Thornton) lane runs five miles from downtown Dallas to Jim Miller Road. This reversible lane - which supports westbound commuters during morning rush hours and eastbound commuters during afternoon rush hours - opened in 1991 and features Barrier Transfer Vehicles (BTVs) or "zipper machines" to open the lanes to traffic.
December 21, 2007
A new 14-mile HOV lane on US 75 extending north from the "High Five" interchange to Exchange Parkway in Allen is scheduled to opens. The US 75 HOV lane extends 14 miles northward from the High Five interchange and features a direct "connector" between the HOV lane on LBJ Freeway and the new Central Expessway HOV lanes, enabling motorists to transfer easily from one to the other.
January 23, 2008
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) opens its newest transportation management center - DalTrans. DART is a partner in the $10 million facility located at 4625 East US Highway 80 in Mesquite. The new 54,000 square foot facility expands DalTrans' capabilities and becomes the central traffic operations center for all highway management and intelligent transportation system integration including approximately 200 TxDOT cameras along more than 100 miles of roadway. DART's HOV network is monitored at this location.
January 28, 2008
A 12-mile extension of the I-635 (LBJ Freeway) HOV lane -- from U.S. 75 (Central Expressway) to I-30 -- opens, roughly doubling the length of HOV lanes in one of the nation's busiest freeway corridors. The new LBJ lanes, which operate in both directions 24 hours a day, are the latest phase in the regional expansion of DART's HOV network, which will add about 50 miles to the existing 40-mile network.
January 30, 2008
Carrollton business owner Randall Chrisman becomes chairman of the DART Board of Directors. Chrisman, who has represented Carrollton and Irving since 2002, was elected vice chairman in 2007. He became chairman following the resignation of Lynn Flint Shaw of Dallas. Chrisman named Dallas member Robert W. Strauss vice chair, Irving member John Danish secretary and Dallas member Pamela Dunlop Gates assistant secretary. The officers will serve through the DART Fiscal Year, which ends in September.
DART had its busiest month ever providing nearly 10.3 million trips in the month of May. Combined fixed route service (bus, DART Rail, Trinity Railway Express) was up more than 2.1% over May 2007. When adding ridership from the 75-mile High Occupancy Vehicle network, total system ridership was up 17.3% over May 2007. The increase was sparked by record gasoline prices (approaching $4 per gallon) and the expansion of the HOV network that concluded in January 2008.
DART began updating its fleet of 115 light rail vehicles (LRV) by inserting a new, low-floor insert between the existing sections of the vehicle adding seating capacity and improving access through level boarding. The newly modified vehicles began service on June 23, 2008 with car #151. Known as Super Light Rail Vehicles (SLRV) because of the greater length and added passenger capacity, the SLRV will seat approximately 100 passengers compared with 75 on the current vehicles. Standing passengers on the vehicle can nearly double the capacity. The SLRVs - designed in partnership with rail vehicle manufacturer Kinkisharyo of Osaka, Japan - feature level boarding which will allow passengers with disabilities - plus people with strollers, bicycles and the like - to step or roll directly onto the trains without using mechanical lifts. This, in turn, enables faster and safer boarding and deboarding. The $190 million light rail vehicle conversion is scheduled for completion before the end of 2010.
With 10.3 million total trips on those modes, June 2008 was the transit agency's biggest month ever, topping last month's record of 10.28 million trips. Both DART Rail (69,861 trips) and the Trinity Railway Express (11,105 trips) posted their highest-ever average weekday ridership totals. DART Rail was up 14.2% over June 2007 and the TRE was up 19.8% over the same period. Commuters continue sharing the ride in the HOV lanes. There were more than 4.5 million trips made in the expanded HOV-lane system. That number, when combined with ridership on other DART services, yielded a 20.1% increase in ridership over June 2007.
DART completes the installation of brand-new, heavy-duty bike racks on the front of its buses. The addition of 655 racks will allow customers to go places they may not have tried reaching before due to time constraints and distance. This makes it easier for customers to combine bike use with bus and rail service for trips to work, school or pleasure. The new racks have a locking mechanism to prevent bikes from coming loose. And, for additional safety, buses have had special mirrors installed that allow bus operators to see both the bike racks and the customers loading them. Up to two bikes can be easily stored in each new rack, which cyclists can load and unload themselves.
DART was named "Best Metro Americas" -- the top transit agency in North, South and Central America during the MetroRail 2009 Conference in London. Other finalists for the distinction were the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Chicago Transit Authority.
Judging was conducted by a distinguished panel of transport industry officials and business news correspondents representing the BBC News, Financial Times and Metro Report. Organized by the international business media firm Terrapinn, "The Metros" recognize individuals, teams and transit systems demonstrating success through innovation, creativity and pioneering in the global metro rail industry. Integration with other transit modes, customer service, value for money, safety and high performance standards were a few of the categories in which DART was judged. Event organizers said the awards were created, "to identify and reward those companies who have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to succeed and continually set standards of excellence."
The cities of Rowlett and Irving conduct "rail stacking" events to mark the start of construction of the Blue Line extension and Orange Line. The Blue Line extension will connect the downtowns of Garland and Rowlett when complete in 2012. The Orange Line will connect with the Green Line at Bachman Station and open in stages in 2011, 2012 and 2013, ultimately reaching DFW Airport.
DART's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) network grows to 84 miles with the expansion of the I-30 West (Tom Landry Highway) lanes. The I-30 West lane runs from Sylvan Avenue west of Downtown Dallas to the Dallas/Tarrant County line.
The Rosa Parks Plaza opens in Downtown Dallas at the corner of Elm and Lamar creating a new type of bus passenger facility. The plaza, named after the iconic civil rights hero, offers a park-like setting featuring a 13-foot-high wall of water cascading over the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a drinking fountain and green spaces flanked by two bus bays and spacious passenger shelters. The focal point is a life-size bronze statue of Parks sitting on a bus bench that will welcome customers.
September 14, 2009
The first three miles and four new stations of the Green Line opened with service from MLK, Jr. Station in South Dallas to Victory Station near the American Airlines Center. The balance of the 28-mile Green Line, which will operate from Pleasant Grove to Farmers Branch and Carrollton is scheduled to open in December 2010. With the Green Line, Orange Line and expansion of the Blue Line, DART will double its light rail network to 90 miles and 63 stations by December 2013.
The Texas Transit Association (TTA) named DART the 2010 Outstanding Metropolitan Transit System. The TTA award is given to a metropolitan public transportation system that has designed and implemented programs that demonstrate innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques. The agency was recognized for the successful launch of the first phase of the Green Line in September 2009. DART previously won the award in 2006.
November 6, 2010
DART debuts level boarding at all light rail stations. The transition followed two-and-a-half years of construction and station closures. Special use platforms or "high blocks," which have served persons with disabilities and mobility challenges since the rail system opened in 1996, are removed from service, as these passengers begin utilizing the low-floor center doors in each train's center section.
December 6, 2010
Just over four years after the first front loader of dirt was turned, the 28-mile, 20-station, $1.8 billion Green Line was completed on schedule and under budget on December 6, when it opened 24 miles and 15 stations creating new light rail connections for DART customers from southeast Dallas to the cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton in the northwest. It was the longest single-day opening of electric light rail in the United States since 1990. The first section of the Green Line opened September 2009 and connects Pearl Station on the east side of Downtown Dallas to MLK, Jr. Station on the west side of Fair Park.
Lake Highlands Station, DART's first infill station, also opened December 6. The station is located on the Blue Line in northeast Dallas between White Rock and LBJ/Skillman stations. This station was originally approved by the DART Board as part of the rail extension to Garland, but was deferred until warranted by new development and corresponding higher ridership. Lake Highlands Station is being incorporated into the overall site design of the adjacent Lake Highlands Town Center development.
The Monroe Shops building, located at Dallas Area Rapid Transit's (DART) Blue Line Illinois Station, entered its next century of use in a way that could not have even been imagined when it opened as a train maintenance facility around 1914. On March 21 it became the new home of the DART Police Department.
The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) recognizes DART with its "2011 Transportation Owner of the Year Award." DART is honored for making significant contributions in advancing awareness, understanding and use of the design-build project delivery method in the transportation sector with 47 percent of its projects, by contract value, performed under the practice over the previous three years.
Representatives from DART and the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority sign an interlocal cooperation agreement recognizing the importance of coordinated transportation planning and advocacy as the two agencies work to expand rail in the area. Multi-jurisdictional cooperation is often cited by federal officials as a key to securing project funds. The agreement encourages the two agencies to identify "potential issues of mutual interest in the development of plans" for future rail service between the North Central, North East and East regions of Texas.
The Dallas-to-Oak Cliff Streetcar project receives environmental clearance with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 21. The decision means local, state and federal agencies concluded the project will not adversely affect the environment. The 1.6-mile streetcar project is a collaborative endeavor involving the North Central Texas Council of Governments, City of Dallas, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) as well as the FTA. The FTA awarded the agencies $23 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding for the transit project that will provide streetcar service from near Union Station in downtown Dallas to the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Beckley Avenue in Oak Cliff. The $35 million project also includes $12 million in Regional Toll Revenue funds.
For the first time the Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is from Dallas Area Rapid Transit. DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas was elected Chair September 21 by association members. His term is one year. Thomas has served the association in a variety of capacities, most recently as Vice Chair. APTA is a nonprofit international association of more than 1,500 public and private member organizations, involved in transit. According to the association more than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada are served by APTA member systems.
The transformation of the near-century old Monroe Shops streetcar maintenance barn, now the home of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police, was honored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as the first publicly owned building listed on the National Register of Historic Places to achieve the LEED® Platinum Certification, the organization's highest recognition. DART earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification by working closely during the renovation with the Texas Historical Commission, the Federal Transit Administration, and City of Dallas officials and staff to ensure that the renovations were performed in an environmentally sensitive way and at the same time consistent with the US Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Preservation. Commonly known as Monroe Shops, the former train maintenance facility was built in 1914 for the Texas Electric Railroad and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It was remodeled, rebuilt and transformed into the police headquarters in March 2011.
DART makes the final push to DFW Airport with the award of a design-build contract to construct a 5.2-mile extension of the Orange Line from the future Belt Line Station to the airport's Terminal A. A joint venture of Kiewit, Stacy and Witbeck, Reyes, Parsons (KSWRP) was selected by the DART Board of Directors to complete the $149,750,000 project known as Irving-3 (I-3). Construction should begin in early 2012 and the I-3 section is scheduled to open in December 2014. DFW Airport is building the Terminal A station. The first two sections of the Orange Line -- Bachman Station to Las Colinas Convention Center and then on to Belt Line Station at SH 161 and Belt Line on DFW Airport property -- will open July 30, 2012 and December 3, 2012, respectively. Those two sections are also being built by the KSWRP joint venture.
April 2, 2012
DART customers who don't live in one of the agency's 13 cities and choose to park at either Parker Road or North Carrollton/Frankford stations began paying for parking on Monday, April 2. As DART's rail system continues to expand parking space has at times been limited at specific locations. Establishing paid-parking helps the agency meet the demand that riders outside DART's service area have placed on the rail system while rewarding other residents for their city's commitment to DART. Customers living in DART cities of Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Plano, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park will continue to park for free in unreserved spots, but must first apply for a parking permit sticker with DART's contractor, Platinum Parking, to avoid any parking fees.
June 4, 2012
DART marks 250,000,000 light rail passenger trips. Don Johnson is the 250 millionth customer on the light rail system. The daily DART Rail rider was greeted by DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas and Michael Melaniphy, president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), who was in Dallas for the annual APTA Rail Conference.
July 30, 2012
DART's long-anticipated Orange Line to Irving opened July 30. The opening of the first phase of the Orange Line, a 5.4-mile section from Bachman Station to Irving Convention Center Station, provides easy access to arts, education, entertainment and businesses while adding three new stations to the DART rail system: University of Dallas, Las Colinas Urban Center and Irving Convention Center.
July 30, 2012
A trio of original DART Rail and Trinity Railway Express stations were renamed on July 30 to better reflect identities created by their evolving neighborhoods or surrounding developments. Pearl Station officially became Pearl/Arts District Station; Cityplace Station changed to Cityplace/Uptown Station; and South Irving Station became the Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station.
December 3, 2012
DART opened two more rail segments on Dec. 3, extending the Blue Line to Rowlett and the Orange Line farther into Irving and closer to DFW International Airport. DART has built more than 40 miles of track in the last three years, greatly enhancing transit accessibility throughout the Dallas area. At 85 miles, DART Rail is the largest electric light rail system in the nation.
Downtown Rowlett Station marks the first expansion of the Blue Line since it reached Garland in November 2002. The 4.5-mile, $360 million segment completes the build-out of the northeast corridor and increases access to and from the largely residential community.
The $1.3 billion Orange Line - the first section of which opened in July with three stations - grew nearly four miles with new stops at North Lake College and Belt Line Road, on DFW Airport property. This segment advances the Orange Line toward its eventual terminus at DFW Airport, where it will connect riders from throughout the Dallas area to one of the nation's busiest airports. DFW Station is scheduled to open in December 2014, making DART one of the few transit agencies in the U.S. with direct rail service into a major airport.
DART's new fleet of smoother-riding, cleaner-running 40-foot buses began service on January 28 and will replace the agency's mix of diesel and liquefied natural gas buses by 2015. The 459 buses are running exclusively on compressed natural gas, will cut the agency's annual fuel costs by nearly two-thirds by the end of 2015 and significantly limit harmful emissions. The new buses are 40-foot models with a new low floor design for easier entry, larger windows for increased visibility, a wider aisle that allows greater flexibility with wheelchairs and mobility devices, interior cameras for safety, and has LED interior monitors located in the front and rear for displaying visual images, including next stop, rider alerts, passenger information and stop requests. DART plans to put approximately five new buses into service every week to replace the existing fleet.
DART, The T and DCTA introduce the new Family Fun Pass on April 20. This pass can transport a family (two adults, four children) from Fort Worth to Dallas to Denton for just $10 on Saturdays through August 17, 2013. The special promotion connects families to all the great Saturday destinations served by the Trinity Railway Express, DART, DCTA and The T. Customers who have 7 day, monthly or annual Regional Passes can take advantage of the Saturday savings as well, making those passes an even better value.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized DART with a Bronze level recognition for outstanding sustainability achievements. DART was recognized along with eight other public transportation systems and businesses. Started in 2009, 105 public transit agencies and businesses have participated in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program by implementing processes and actions that will lead to continuous improvement on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. There are different levels of recognition -- Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum -- that are determined by specific measured achievements.
North Texas transit customers were able to put away paper passes and pick up their smartphones to buy, store and activate passes for DART, The T and DCTA. The GoPass℠ mobile ticketing application was introduced as a free app available in Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. The Danish firm Unwire won the contract based on its experience overseas with mobile ticketing in large urban markets with multiple agency participants. The North Texas agencies are among the first in the country to offer mobile ticketing and are Unwire's first U.S. client. The agencies had hoped to achieve 35,000 downloads in 2013 - a goal surpassed in the first month. By the end of December, more than 70,000 people had downloaded the app, far exceeding projections.
The D-Link, or Route 722, makes its debut with special stops connecting major tourist attractions and employment centers in Downtown Dallas and Oak Cliff. The free shuttle is identified by distinctively colored D-Link wrapped buses and operates Monday through Saturday. Stops along the circulator route in downtown include such destinations as Victory Park, Klyde Warren Park, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Arts District, Main Street hotels and restaurants, the Omni and the Convention Center. Oak Cliff points of interest include the Bishop Arts District and the Kessler and Texas theatres. Evening service is extended to serve South Side on Lamar and Cedars Station.
Route 703, the two-year old free shuttle connecting the vast Parkland Hospital area with Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station officially became the first DART route to provide 24-hour service, seven days a week, when buses began running between midnight and 4 a.m. The route provides service every three to seven minutes during peak and off-peak hours and makes two stops at bus shelters along Parkland Boulevard near Parkland's employee parking lot and at 2121 Butler for Prescription Center employees.
Capital investment in the DART Light Rail System has generated billions in regional economic activity and transit-oriented development. Two studies released in January, both conducted by the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas, examine the build-out's economic impact.
DART's capital spending between 2003 and 2013 was almost $5.63 billion, or $4.7 billion in inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars. In the 11-year period studied, the agency grew the light rail network from 44 miles and 34 stations to 85 miles and 61 stations, and made DART Rail the longest light rail system in the country. The expansion to date has generated $7.4 billion in regional economic activity, creating more than 54,000 person-years of employment that paid in excess of $3.3 billion in salaries, wages and benefits.
More than $5.3 billion in private-capital transit-oriented development projects have been built, are under construction, or are planned near DART's light rail stations since the debut of DART Rail in 1996.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit's two-year paid parking demonstration known as Fair Share Parking and implemented at Northwest Plano Park & Ride, Parker Road, North Carrollton/Frankford and Belt Line stations ended Wednesday, April 2, making it free to park at DART facilities.
Officials from DART and DFW Airport along with elected officials, business and community leaders rode an inaugural train ride and had lunch in celebration of the new DFW Airport Station on Friday, Aug. 15. Numerous "DART to DFW" events celebrated completion of the Orange Line to DFW International Airport. The project added another five miles of rail to what was already the longest light rail system in North America, now a total of 90 miles and 62 stations.
On Monday, August 18, DART and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport officially opened the last segment of the Orange Line at the new DFW Airport Station to the public. It connected DART to the country's fourth-busiest airport, providing more transportation options for travelers from across North Texas and around the world.
The 5-mile segment linked newly renovated Terminal A and Belt Line Station, with continuing service to major regional destinations including Irving-Las Colinas, Dallas Market Center and downtown Dallas. With this opening, DFW Airport becomes the third-largest American airport with a direct rail connection to the city center. The opening meant the world's third-busiest airport had direct-rail access for its more than 61 million passengers.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the University of North Texas at Dallas and the City of Dallas held a groundbreaking on Monday, Oct. 6, for DART's 3-mile Blue Line extension. The project, referred to as South Oak Cliff III (SOC-3), went from Ledbetter Station to a new UNT Dallas Station. The groundbreaking took place on the UNT-Dallas campus.
The Blue Line extension includes a new station at Camp Wisdom with 475 parking spaces, a new station at UNT Dallas with 123 parking spaces and modifications to existing Ledbetter Station, including the lengthening and raising of the platform to meet level-boarding initiatives.
In recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, DART partnered with local groups to protect the homeless with an event on the Union Station platform, Friday, Nov. 21. DART was one of 11 transit agencies selected to receive a grant to develop a local version of the "See Tracks? Think Train!" campaign. The grant supported a coordinated outreach effort to engage persons who are homeless and who use DART and TRE right of way as campgrounds and walkways about the risks of those choices.
DART spearheaded local awareness efforts about human trafficking in conjunction with January being National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. President/Executive Director Gary Thomas signed a U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking Pledge, which committed DART to addressing the important issue.
As part of DART's pledge and efforts, all DART employees including police, transportation and administration staff completed training programs relating to human trafficking awareness and prevention.
DART announced a partnership with Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, to add two Zipcars along the transit line at Mockingbird Station in an effort to provide more convenient and simple transportation options in DART’s service area.
DART joined pioneering transportation organizations across the North America that have partnered with Zipcar to bridge the "last mile" of transit trips. The Mockingbird location helps residents, students, businesses and visitors to get around by combining DART and Zipcar trips to explore the greater Dallas area. Later in 2015 Zipcar and DART expanded its partnership further with Zipcars added at Inwood/Love Field Station.
DART is awarded a $7.6 million grant to purchase seven all-electric Proterra buses and the infrastructure to charge and maintain them as part of the federal Low or No Emissions Vehicle Deployment Program.
The buses, which will be delivered in late 2016, will become part of D-Link serving Uptown, downtown Dallas and Oak Cliff. The charging station is expected to be installed at Convention Center Station.
April 13, 2015
Streetcar travel between Oak Cliff and Downtown Dallas returned after a nearly 50 year absence, connecting a historic community via a state-of-the-art electric vehicle and a free ride. The Dallas Streetcar opened its 1.6-mile route from downtown's Union Station to Oak Cliff's Methodist Dallas Medical Center. The opening and beginning of service marks the first phase of Dallas' modern streetcar system. DART operates and oversees the City of Dallas project that was the recipient of federal TIGER grant.
April 14, 2015
Uber and DART helped travelers connect with the Uber application through DART's GoPass mobile ticketing application. The collaboration makes it easier for travelers who begin or end their trips in places not easily served by DART to use a train or bus for the longest portion of the trip with an Uber available for the "first mile/last mile" part of the equation.
A .65-mile track-extension of the M-Line Trolley opened creating a reverse loop and expanding the service further into downtown Dallas.
The opening was celebrated with a formal dedication with officials from the Dallas City Council, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, DART, Downtown Dallas Inc., Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Uptown Dallas Inc., the Dallas Arts District, the Federal Transit Administration and Klyde Warren Park were on hand.
The Dallas City Council and DART Board of Directors approved a proposed preferred alignment for the second downtown Dallas light rail alignment to be submitted to the Federal Transportation Administration. DART seeks up to $400 million in funding for the project through a federal capital investment grant for core capacity.
The proposed alignment travels south from Victory Station along Lamar Street partially underground before turning east to travel along Young and/or Jackson streets at street level before connecting back with the current alignment in Deep Ellum. The proposed alignment represents 2 percent of the final design and is subject to additional alignment design consideration and environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
October 5, 2015
Vix Technology is been selected by DART to implement a new, state-of-the-art comprehensive fare payment system. The system will be delivered through Vix's eO™ (easy and open) product: an account-based, open architecture and PCI compliant fare collection platform. This new system will allow DART customers the flexibility to pay via NFC-enabled smartphones, third party or agency-issued transit cards, or use EMV contactless cards.
October 8, 2015
Brookville Equipment Corporation earned the award for Technical Innovation of the Year for its Liberty Modern Streetcar, featuring an onboard energy storage system (OESS), at the ninth annual Global Light Rail Awards in London.
Developed in partnership with DART, the Liberty Modern Streetcar's OESS utilizes a redundant lithium ion battery system to power the Dallas Streetcar over the one-mile Houston Street Viaduct, spanning the Trinity River, along a 1.6-mile rail corridor, making the Dallas Streetcar the first and only off-wire capable system to operate in the United States.
October 26, 2015
A new collaboration between DART and the ridesharing app Lyft means North Texas travelers have a great new way to begin, continue, or end their trip. The Lyft app can be accessed through DART's GoPass mobile ticketing application in the "Travel Tools" section.
DART commemorated the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' decision to keep her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. city bus marking a new phase of the civil rights movement with the installation of two plaques at DART's Rosa Parks Plaza in Downtown Dallas.
The front seat of more than 500 DART buses were reserved on Dec. 1, 2015 to honor the 60th anniversary. Rosa Parks Plaza, opened in 2009, is the only civil rights monument in Downtown Dallas.
For the first time, the Original Light Beer is partnered with DART and Andrews Distributing to help ring in the New Year safely with Miller Lite Free Rides available on all DART buses and trains on New Year’s Eve. Since its inception 28 years ago, the Miller Lite Free Rides program has provided safe rides to more than 5 million people in 21 cities across the country.
DART received a $1 million grant from Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) to support essential transportation assistance for residents in Northern Collin County needing help getting to medical facilities and physician's visits. The grant supports the continuation of a 90-day interim service that had been funded by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and several northern Collin County cities. The service was previously operated by Texoma Area Paratransit Service. The Toyota grant funds a taxi-type extension to the demand-response operation in Collin County provided by DART and the COG. The $1 million dollar grant funds the service for a minimum of twelve more months.
DART took the top spot and was crowned the Grand Champion at the 41st Annual International Bus Roadeo. The Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score. The event was held in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, NC.
DART Rail celebrates its 20th anniversary. Notable about the DART Rail System:
- More than 360 million passenger trips
- 90 miles of rail (longest system in the country)
- $8 billion in economic impact
- $5 billion in private transit oriented development at or near rail stations
DART's announces participation in the national "Safe Place" program. Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people needing immediate help and safety. The transit agency began the collaboration with Safe Place as part of its ongoing effort to address human trafficking. Runaways and other youth in danger are often targets for traffickers. DART began working to raise awareness of human trafficking in 2015 through a series of posters and public service announcements on buses, trains and stations. All DART buses and Light Rail trains have a Safe Place decal prominently displayed on the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Minors who see the decal will know DART can help get them to safety.
August 29, 2016
The Dallas Streetcar extended to Bishop Arts on Monday, August 29. Cars began running every 20 minutes, seven days a week and include passenger service to two new stops - 6th Street and Bishop Arts.
October 24, 2016
New opportunities and new destinations arrived on October 24 when DART Rail's Blue Line added three miles and opened new stations at Camp Wisdom and UNT Dallas. Connecting an area known as the Education Corridor to downtown by light rail also enables more people to discover the academic programs offered at the University of North Texas at Dallas, Paul Quinn College and Cedar Valley College. DART operates the nation's longest electric light rail system with 93 miles and 64 stations.
DART is the over-all second place finisher at the 2017 APTA International Rail Rodeo. The DART team consisted of John Bailey, David Jit, Carlos Garza, Antaeus Chandler, and Christopher Kress.
The DART Board approved the D2 Commerce/Victory/Swiss alignment as the approved Locally Preferred Alternative at their September 26 meeting. The Dallas City Council approved the LPA by DART Board on September 13. Also on September 26, the DART Board approved a budget and 20-year financial plan supporting the Cotton Belt and D2 projects. The board previously approved new debt resolutions providing funding mechanisms for the Cotton Belt and D2.
Miller Lite and DART teamed up for the third year to provide a safe travel option to driving on New Year's Eve with free rides on all buses, light rail trains, paratransit vehicles and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) from Union Station to CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. The partnership between Miller Lite and DART means no passes, tickets, GoPass app, coupons or money were required to ride safely Sun., Dec. 31, from 6 p.m. until end of service. The program began locally in 2015. Miller Lite Free Rides has provided more than 70,000 people in North Texas with safe, alternative transportation on New Year's Eve. Last year, more than 30,000 people took advantage of a Miller Lite Free Ride.
DART expanded GoLink to Kleberg, Rylie, and a portion of the Inland Port in Southern Dallas County. A demand-response service, GoLink builds upon DART's existing On Call services by providing "last mile" access to and from the rest of the DART rail and bus network.
Doreen Chen, a student at Jasper High School in Plano, is the 2018 best of show winner in Dallas Area Rapid Transit's (DART) annual student art contest. Chen's work, based on the theme "Oh the places DART goes" was selected from 1,157 entries from students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
DART’s GoPass® app, one of the first transit payment apps when it was launched in 2013, added new features including the option to load value with cash at hundreds of area retailers as well as the ability to track buses and trains in real-time.
DART introduced fare capping to make riding easier and cheaper. By using the GoPass® mobile app or GoPass® Tap card, riders will never spend more than the total cost of a day pass ($6.00) in a single day, or the total cost of a monthly pass ($96.00) in a calendar month.
DART signed an agreement with Element Markets Renewable Energy to provide renewable natural gas (RNG) for DART's fleet of 650 CNG powered buses. By monetizing Renewable Identification Number credits, DART can potentially generate up to $11,000,000 in revenue over the life of the contract.
GoLink, DART's on-demand shuttle, is now integrated into DART's GoPass app for customers in North Central Plano/Chase Oaks, Legacy West, Far North Plano, Inland Port and Kleberg/Rylie. This update to the flexible neighborhood service puts the best travel options and trip-planning tools at the customer's fingertips.
DART partners with Uber for a one-year pilot program to provide North Texas riders greater flexibility and more options for their transportation needs. Using GoPass, customers can book an UberPool shared ride in each of DART's GoLink zones in DART's service area, including Inland Port, Kleberg/Rylie of south Dallas County, and Far North Plano, Legacy West in Plano and North Central Plano/Chase Oaks.
DART focuses 41 new "New Flyer" CNG-fueled buses on peak schedule adjustments by straightening out, simplifying and improving access on several routes in and around Dallas beginning August 12. To date, thirteen New Flyer XN-40 buses have been delivered from St. Cloud, Minnesota, with an additional three arriving weekly. New bus features are the USB ports located at 33 of the seats that will allow riders to charge their electronic devices while riding, larger interior InfoTransit monitors, vinyl upholstery on the seats and flush-mounted tinted windows.
Beginning Monday, June 3, DART expands the UberPool shared rides option to customers in the Rowlett GoLink zone.
The DART Board selects Stadler US for the contract to assemble and build eight FLIRTs (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) and design an Equipment Maintenance Facility (EMF) for the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project scheduled to go into service in 2022.
The DART Board of Directors approved a resolution on Tuesday, June 18, to name future service running on the Cotton Belt Commuter Rail as the Silver Line. The Silver Line project's primary purpose is to provide passenger rail connections and service improving mobility, accessibility and system linkages to major employment, population and activity centers in the northern part of the DART Service Area, and in time, along the 60-mile corridor connecting Plano to Ft. Worth.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) awards DART its 2019 Gold Award for Security for light rail and streetcar systems at the annual APTA Rail Conference in Toronto, Ontario.
On June 27, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces a $60.76 million grant agreement with DART for construction of the Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions, which will allow DART to accommodate more riders and longer trains. The project will lengthen platforms at 28 stations along the existing Red and Blue light rail lines that currently can accommodate only two-car trains. When the project is complete, all stations on these lines will be able to accommodate three-car trains. The total project cost is $128.74 million.
DART was named the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) 2019 Innovation Award winner. The Innovation Award is given to a public transit agency demonstrating innovative concepts in the provision of public transportation services. Entries this year had to show how their transit system demonstrated excellence within the three-year period of 2016-2018.
DART's winning entry was their GoPass app, the first public transit ticket-purchasing app in the nation that involved multiple agencies and different types of transportation by combining efforts between DART in Dallas County, The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (now Trinity Metro) in Tarrant County and the DCTA in Denton County.
DART’s Mockingbird Station was renamed SMU/Mockingbird Station. The change comes after the DART Board approved a naming rights agreement with SMU making it easier for visitors to find the campus and cementing the rail station's role as a gateway to the University.
DART has expanded its partnership with Uber, providing North Texas riders even more options for their transportation needs. Customers can now book an UberPool shared ride in any of DART's 13 GoLink zones through the DART GoPass® app available for free from the App Store or Google Play. With the choice of a GoLink shuttle or an UberPool vehicle, DART is reaching more people and providing more flexibility than ever.
DART and local dignitaries broke ground during six ceremonies on Thursday, September 19, on the new 26-mile Silver Line regional rail service from Plano to DFW International Airport. Events took place across DART's historic Cotton Belt corridor in five cities with elected officials from Addison, Plano, Dallas, Carrollton and Richardson, ending at DFW International Airport where additional representatives from the cities of Coppell and Fort Worth celebrated the upcoming service.
Officials from agencies across North Texas launched a new nonprofit organization intended to develop transportation opportunities in the growing Dallas County Inland Port. The Dallas County Inland Port Transportation Management Association (TMA) was the vision of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and Dallas City Council Member Tennell Atkins, based on the potential of the region several years ago. The TMA was formed by employers, developers, transit agencies and local governments to help connect workers and companies to various transportation solutions. The announcement benefits a 120-square mile area that encompasses five cities, nearly 90,000 residents, and serves as a base of operations for hundreds of major employers.
DART begins the installation of more than 300 interactive digital kiosks across the service network. In the largest deployment of its kind by a public transit agency, DART launched the first interactive kiosks at JB Jackson Jr. Transit Center in Dallas.
DART Launches Discount GoPass Tap Card for participants in any of eight support assistance programs. DART is promoting the new, two-year, pilot-program designed to lend a hand to riders who need assistance affording public transit with outreach through media, printed materials and a partnership with eligible agencies to inform eligible riders. Anyone who participates in any of the eight programs is eligible for DART services at half the fare.
DART, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), Fort Worth's Trinity Metro and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) aggressively expand agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The agencies all remain in close contact with local, state and national health authorities, including the Texas Department of State Health Services and the CDC, and continuously monitor the situation for residents in the North Texas region. DART vehicles begin to receive additional cleanings throughout the day.
DART will extend 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.
DART continues to provide transit service while safeguarding its customers and employees in response to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As many in North Texas remain at home under shelter in place orders, DART implements temporary service adjustments for bus and light rail starting Monday, April 6, that reflects current ridership demand. While DART ridership has fallen since the outbreak, DART remains committed to providing services for North Texas riders who rely on buses and trains to get to jobs, stores and medical appointments.
DART partners with the Dallas Independent School District and the Garland Independent School District to deliver meals to students, the City of Dallas to distribute care packages to seniors, with paratransit customers to deliver food and medicine and with Catholic Charities to deliver meals to Brady Center seniors.
In addition, DART and The University of North Texas at Dallas Mobile Market joined forces to reach families in food deserts in southern Dallas with fresh produce, food and other necessary items during the COVID-19 outbreak. Volunteers loaded and unloaded the buses as part of a partnership with DART, UNT Dallas, Toyota, the Oak Cliff Veggie Project, Lone Star Human Services and Grow North Texas.
DART receives notification that it has been allocated $229 million from The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27. Funding from the CARES Act allows access to valuable financial resources in the battle to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DART began installing respiratory droplet shields throughout the bus fleet since mid-March 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 new shield leverages DART's initial investment of the Operator Barrier Door by expanding a shield forward towards the windshield and upward towards the ceiling. 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. Shields are fully installed on the entire fleet of more than 600 buses by July 1.
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. UNT Researchers concluded the total economic impact of the projects created $10.27 billion for the DFW economy and 61,017 construction jobs.
The Engineering Department at DART began installing face mask and hand sanitizer dispensers on all buses, light rail vehicles and streetcars. Dispensers were in place to assist customers on more than 600 buses, 160 light rail vehicles and four Dallas streetcars by early September. The mask and hand sanitizer dispensers were placed to complement 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.
DART restored ninety percent of pre-pandemic service levels beginning October 19. The service modifications were approved by the DART Board of Directors after determining that the service is within the proposed FY 2021 budget and Twenty-Year Financial Plan allocations. The Board action came after DART implemented temporary service adjustments for the bus and light rail system on April 6 that better reflected current ridership demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The D2 Subway project reached another important milestone with the completion of the 30% level of preliminary design on October 30, 2020. A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is prepared in cooperation with Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA plans to issue a combined FEIS and Record of Decision (ROD) to environmentally clear the project so it can advance into the next stage of development.
On April 9, DART celebrated the opening of the Hidden Ridge Station at Carpenter Ranch in Irving, the 65th station in the DART network. Developed in partnership with the City of Irving and Verizon Communications, the new station is located on the Orange Line between North Lake College and Irving Convention Center stations. Originally a part of the 3.9-mile Irving-2 opening of the Orange Line in December 2012, Hidden Ridge Station (formerly known as Carpenter Ranch Station) had been deferred in anticipation of Verizon Communications' Hidden Ridge development, a planned 110-acre mixed-use project which will feature 1,200 apartments and residences; 80,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space; a hotel; and a two-acre green space with amenities.
On Monday, June 14, DART celebrated 25 years of providing light rail service to the residents of North Texas. The DART light rail system debuted on June 14, 1996. The original starter system was 11.2 miles long, with Blue Line service between Illinois Station and Pearl/Arts District Station, and Red Line service between Westmoreland Station and Pearl/Arts District Station. Over the last 25 years, the DART light rail system has grown into a 93-mile, 65 station network - the longest light rail system in the country - improving the quality of life for all North Texas residents, and providing access to greater mobility options to jobs, health care and even educational opportunities.
The DART Board of Directors unanimously approved the DARTzoom Final Bus Network Plan, which includes a complete redesign of the DART bus network. With the goal of providing greater frequency, longer service hours and improved access to destinations, the redesigned network goes into effect on January 24, 2022.
To make traveling by public transport easier and more convenient, DART begins accepting Contactless Payment on all bus, light rail and Dallas Streetcar vehicles. Contactless Payment allows riders to pay for their DART transit fare with a contactless credit, debit card, or a payment-enabled mobile phone or wearable device. The Contactless Payment option gives riders a new touch-free option for paying their fare, along with the GoPass® mobile app and GoPass® Tap card. Riders simply tap, ride, and go.
To prepare riders for the launch of the DARTzoom new bus network, DART begins operating all GoLink zones beginning December 6 while maintaining existing fixed route bus service. An essential part of DART's new bus network is the expansion of GoLink, DART's on-demand, curb-to-curb microtransit service solution that operates in zones across the DART service area. GoLink offers service with connections to DART transit facilities as well as anywhere within each specified zone. With the start of the new bus service on January 24, 2022, 13 new GoLink zones will be added, replacing traditional fixed-route service, bringing the total to 30. In addition, weekend hours have been added to many GoLink zones, with 13 zones offering Saturday service and 6 zones offering Sunday service.
On December 30, the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) celebrated 25 years of providing unparalleled commuter rail service across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The TRE debuted on December 30, 1996. Operating between what is now EBJ Union Station and South Irving Station, the 10-mile commuter rail line enjoyed more than 4,000 riders during its first day of operation. Five years later, on December 3, 2001, the TRE finally realized its full vision. Stretching from EBJ Union Station all the way to the Fort Worth T&P Station by Downtown Fort Worth, the TRE became a commuter rail system that serves the needs of all of the residents across North Texas.
With the goal of providing greater frequency, longer service hours and improved access to destinations across North Texas, DART's new bus network launched on January 24, 2022. The new bus system is designed to ensure passengers have quick and easy access to employment, education and entertainment destinations.
DART extends the Discount GoPass Tap Card pilot program through December 31, 2022. The program provides riders using any one of nine support assistance programs with a 50% discount on the regular price of a DART pass. DART launched the pilot-program to ensure riders who qualify have access to jobs, health care and educational opportunities, reducing social and economic inequalities by making mobility financially feasible to more people.
Beginning June 13, DART implemented temporary service frequency adjustments on 31 of its 97 bus routes due to the ongoing nationwide shortage of bus operators. To restore service reliability and dependability, DART implemented a five-minute temporary reduction in frequency on most routes operating every 15 minutes. Some routes with 20-minute midday and early evening service also changed to 30-minute service. Light rail service, as well as service on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and the Dallas Streetcar, remained the same. DART tentatively plans to return to regular frequency on all services on January 23, 2023, based on bus operator hiring goals.