the offical newsletter of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT - Spring/Summer 2011
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DART FY2010 Financials
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Agent of Change
A letter from the DART Chairman of the Board.

Transforming How We Travel
With the opening of the Green Line on December 6, DART now shifts much of its focus to operating the vast multimodal transit system, improving the customer experience, upgrading buses and trains, and increasing ridership.

Leading the Rail-volution
Construction of the Orange Line to Irving and the Blue Line to Rowlett is well under way, and planning continues for additional light rail and modern streetcars in downtown Dallas and commuter rail along the Cotton Belt Corridor.

Taking a Regional View to Growth
The continued growth of the Dallas-Fort Worth area has led to increasing traffic congestion and air pollution, leading cities throughout North Texas to consider bus and rail transit as a strategy to improve mobility.

Improving the Work Experience
Employee communications, professional and personal development initiatives strive to make DART an employer of choice. Education, diversity and outreach programs illustrate the agency's commitment to the communities DART serves.

Adopting New Business Models
Updated financial projections initiated a comprehensive review of operating, capital, and debt service expenses, resulting in a new business model that resets the expansion timeline, seeks efficiencies, and uses resources more effectively.

Short Trips
Green Line earns industry accolades; Agency hailed as design-build leader; Whitewater park created near station; DART CIO helps lead IT consortium; Quick-read codes link to TVM video; Transit attracts young professionals.

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Short Trips

Heck of a Deal

The accolades are accumulating for the DART Rail Green Line. The new line took top honors in The Dallas Business Journal's Best Real Estate Deals recognition program, winning the Jerry Fults Memorial Award as the 2010 "Deal of the Year."

The Dallas Business Journal also acknowledged the Green Line as the "Community Impact Deal of the Year," praising the project for connecting commuters to employment centers and inspiring communities to plan multi-use developments in close proximity to rail stations.

The Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers has recognized the Green Line with its 2010 Texas Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award. The coveted prize is bestowed annually on a major project exemplifying superior engineering skills and representing a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society.
DART has been honored for the Green Line's design, engineering, station art and community impact.
DART also earned the 2010 BUILT Award from the Greater Dallas Planning Council, one of its annual Urban Design Awards.

DART has been honored for the Green Line's design, engineering, station art
and community impact.

Best by Design

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Award The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has lauded DART for its successful use of the design-build approach in its capital expansion. The agency was honored as DBIA's 2011 Transportation Owner of the Year - Rail, a tribute to an owner organization in transportation that has made significant contributions to advance this project delivery method.

DART is using design-build to complete four of its projects: the Blue Line extension to Downtown Rowlett, the Orange Line extension to Las Colinas and Belt Line Road, the new natural-gas fueling facilities, and the Orange Line extension from Belt Line Road to DFW Airport. The agency was nominated by Parsons Transportation Group, the primary contractor in charge of design and construction of the first two segments of the Orange Line into Irving.

Whitewater Ahead

Rail riders traveling between the Cedars and 8th & Corinth stations will soon see kayakers below on the Trinity River. The first whitewater amenity of the Trinity River Corridor Project passes under the train bridge and has multiple recreational elements.

To create the double rapids, the City of Dallas built two dams in the river channel, a canoe bypass chute, bank stonework, and native plantings, along with sidewalks and boulder embellishments. These exciting whitewater structures work when the river is flowing at normal levels and will disappear during high water levels.

Designated for kayaking enthusiasts, the park should open this fall. Coupled with the Santa Fe Trestle Hike and Bike Trail project, this area of the river will be completed with viewing areas, parking and road access later this year. From DART's 8th & Corinth Station, it's just a short walk to enjoy the sight of adventurous paddlers and the nearby pedestrian and bicyclist route across the Trinity connecting Oak Cliff and Downtown.

Information Sharing

More than 35 of the transit industry's top tech minds have logged in to an offline approach to information sharing. Chief information officers from across the continent have joined the Transit CIO Consortium, an industry alliance that meets three times per year to exchange best practices and solutions to information technology (IT) challenges.

DART CIO Allan Steele is one of four elected founding officers and serves as first vice president of the organization. The agency also hosted the group's February 2011 meeting in Dallas.

Unlike other industries, transit agencies don't compete against one another for customers, and yet all face many of the same IT challenges. The meetings aren't just theoretical discussions; the members are actually rolling up their sleeves and collaborating on initiatives. That collaboration continues outside the meetings as members poll each other on particular topics and share experiences.

"As transit systems become more IT-dependent, the Consortium is a smart way for individual transit agencies to save money and time," says Steele. "By pooling our intellectual capital, we all become smarter, and by sharing experiences we can avoid missteps and accelerate the delivery of innovative technology."

Be a Quick Read

Your smartphone just got smarter with the addition of quick-read (QR) codes on DART's ticket vending machines (TVMs). Scan the two-dimensional barcode with your camera and link instantly to video explaining how to use the new TVMs.

QR codes also are posted on the pylons at four stops on the Green Line: Deep Ellum, Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park and MLK, Jr. stations. Scan the code and watch video of the station artists describing their art and design.

From the Web browser on your smartphone, go to to download a free QR code reader application to compatible devices.

Young and Car-Free

Jobs, cost of living, and transit are drawing more young professionals to North Texas than trendy favorites like Seattle or Portland. From 2007-2009, Dallas-Fort Worth trailed only Austin in attracting 25- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor's degree or higher, according to the Brookings Institute.

The study says that Dallas' investment in infrastructure and amenities - like the DART Rail System, the McKinney Avenue Trolley, the planned urban streetcar system, the emerging Dallas Arts District and the forthcoming deck park - score major appeal points in attracting newcomers.

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