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August 14, 2013
DART preparing for mega crowds from MegaFest
DART is adding light rail and Trinity Railway Express trains, rolling out more buses, planning detours and extending the frequency and operating hours of its bus and rail network to accommodate the anticipated 100,000 participants of MegaFest 2013. The event is Thursday through Saturday, August 29 to 31 and will be staged simultaneously at American Airlines Center (AAC) and Dallas' Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center each day.
Event organizers, along with representatives from DART, the City of Dallas and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau are developing plans to accommodate the expected crowds. It is expected that substantial number of attendees will be using the DART system to arrive at and to travel between venues, so unusually crowded conditions on some services, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours, are expected.
DART is working with Dallas officials to develop bus detours to help shuttle attendees between the locations. In addition, DART will deploy hundreds of staff from all parts of the organization to 13 stations from 7 a.m. to midnight August 29 and 30 and from 7 a.m. to noon on August 31 to help customers purchase passes and make their transit connections. DART Police, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, will increase staffing during the event. Event organizers are also lining up volunteers to help keep everyone moving as efficiently as possible. However, daily commuters may experience delays due to heavy ridership.
Assisting daily commuters with more vehicles, more trips
DART is operating for 21 consecutive hours on August 29 and 30 (5 a.m. to 2 a.m.) with trains every 5-10 minutes during rush hours and every 20-30 minutes during midday and on nights and weekends. All Green Line trains will operate with three cars. Red, Blue and Orange trains will remain as two-car sets instead of the regular conversion to single-car sets during mid-days and evenings.
To increase capacity in Downtown Dallas DART is adding Green Line service between Victory and Lawnview Stations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will operate additional trains connecting Victory and Union Stations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday and from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Special TRE schedules for MegaFest are at www.TrinityRailwayExpress.org.
Two dozen shuttle buses will travel between the AAC and convention center to help attendees travel between locations on Thursday and Friday. The bus shuttle will remain in operation from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Bus Route 49 near the AAC and Victory Station will operate every 15 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes during midday and nights, connecting to key hotels in the Stemmons corridor. Updated August 30: Express buses to the event sites are being added to Hampton, Bachman and Mockingbird stations to support the light rail. Customers can return to these stations at the conclusion of the daily events, anticipated to be approximately 10 p.m. by either train or express bus.
Special 3-day passes for attendees
To help keep MegaFest attendees moving DART has developed a commemorative 3-day pass which can be purchased in advance at the DART Store at Akard Station August 16 to 28. DART began online pass sales in July. The cost is $15 for a 3-day local pass and $30 for a 3-day regional pass. A local one-day pass for $5 or regional one-day pass for $10 is valid for unlimited rides on the date of purchase only through 3 a.m. the following day and can be purchased on buses and at any rail station ticket vending machine.
Fair Share Parking
Although parking is free at most DART Rail Stations and Transit Centers, MegaFest attendees who live in the North Texas area and who plan to use DART should remember the agency has paid parking lots at Northwest Plano Park & Ride and the Parker Road, North Carrollton/Frankford and Belt Line stations. The daily rate is $2. Customers who have purchased monthly parking passes and residents of DART cities who have purchased parking stickers in advance of this event will not have to pay. All residents must obtain their permit stickers from DART's contractor, Platinum Parking. Residents without a permit must pay to park. More information on Fair Share Parking is found at DART.org/PaidParking.
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