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|We're Going Green
A letter from the DART Chairman of the Board.
The seeds of change have been sown. Now comes the real work of growing the 45-mile DART Rail System to more than twice its size, starting with the Green Line.
Keeping the Lines Open
As rail construction begins, DART is ramping up its safety education and public outreach programs to help keep resident families, schools and business owners in the know.
World-class modern architecture, inviting public spaces and dramatic streetscapes make Victory Park a slam dunk and the epicenter of the real estate boom at Victory Station on the Green Line.
Fall is the perfect time to add some exercise to your daily commute and pedal your trusty two-wheeler from home to the nearest rail station or bus stop.
Baylor employees get a healthy commute; PassPlus brings transit home; DART Police rev up with Hemis; thousands enjoy Free Fare Day; Mavericks give ridership a bounce; passengers go green.
10 Great Years
North Texans cheered the past and hailed the future as DART celebrated the 10th anniversary of DART Rail with special events up and down the rail lines.
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Two Wheelin' Time
With triple-digit temperatures in the rearview mirror, fall is the perfect time to add some exercise to your daily commute. So why not resolve to pedal your trusty two-wheeler from home to the nearest rail station or bus stop, and then hop on board for the rest of the work commute?
Jason Jones of the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association is serious about bike commuting. Many members combine cycling with DART for their daily trip to work.
DART has always welcomed bicycles, but new rules no longer restrict them during morning and evening rush hours. Cyclists can board trains and buses with their bikes at any time as long as the bike is clean and there is enough room for other passengers.
Mesquite resident Tim Gibson says the new rules make it possible for him to bike and ride to and from his job in Richardson every day. In fact, DART's $2.50 Local Day Pass is a bargain, compared to spending up to $12 a day to drive.
"I ride my bike 11 miles from my house to the Lovers Lane Station in Dallas, catch the Red Line up to Galatyn Park Station in Richardson, and then ride my bike the rest of the way to my office," he says. "I'm losing weight, saving money and doing something to help clean up the air all at the same time."
With bike racks and storage lockers at selected rail stations and transit centers, cyclists can park their bikes for the day. The lockers, which completely enclose the bike, are available for a $15 deposit, and rent of $15 for three months, $5 for six months and $45 for a year.
Mesquite resident Tim Gibson is saving money and losing weight by commuting to Richardson on his bicycle and DART Rail.
Future plans include mounting easy-on-and-off bike racks on the front of all buses.
Pedaling away stress
The Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association (DORBA), one of many cycling organizations in the area, actively promotes bike commuting and has been a valuable resource to DART in planning bike-and-ride initiatives. Rich Szecsy, DORBA's commuter coordinator, says members logged 35,000 miles of bike commuting from January through July, and 5% of their trips included segments traveled on DART.
"The mainstay benefits of bike commuting always include things like increased physical conditioning, lower transportation costs and positive impact on the environment," says Szecsy. "However, there are other benefits that are always missed in most major lists of the advantages, such as lower stress levels.
Bike racks mounted on the front of buses will make it easy to stow and go on DART.
A folding bike makes the going easy for Kaare Skrydstrup's daily commute on the Red Line.
"Everyone who has ever had to wait in traffic knows the aggravation," he continues. "That has an impact on how you feel when you arrive at your destination, whether going or coming from work. What you never will hear is how 'stressed' a bike commuter is when they arrive at their destination. They arrive more relaxed, and in fact, invigorated."
Fold and go
New technology is making it easy to bike and ride. Lightweight road and trail bikes are commonplace, and folding bikes take up no more room than a backpack and stow easily under a bus or train seat and under the desk at the office.
"These folding bikes are lightweight and very user-friendly," says Rod Myers, a technician and salesman at Richardson Bike Mart near White Rock Lake. "They're also high performance with gear ratios that compensate for the small wheels to provide a road-bike ride.
"With gas prices rising, a lot of people are interested in riding bikes to work," Myers says. "Of course you always need a helmet, whether you ride a folding bike or a regular bike."
|Bike Commuter Tips
Want to start a bike and ride routine? Richard Szecsy, commuter coordinator for DORBA, offers the following tips:
» Any bike will work as a commuter bike if it's in good working condition. Always travel with tools or repair materials, and make sure you know how to use them.
» Before you start bike commuting, drive the route to become familiar with key intersections, safety issues and road conditions.
» Assume no driver sees you. It's your responsibility to be seen – with lights in low- to no-light conditions, and something highly visible during the daylight.
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