Improving Communications with Technology
In the past year, DART has launched or expanded the use of technology that improves customer communications and service. Digital media, mobile tools and improved signage keep riders more informed and give them greater confidence in using public transit.
GoPass℠ makes taking transit easyIn September, DART introduced the free GoPass mobile ticketing application for Apple and Android smartphones. From the app, transit customers can buy and store passes from DART and its regional partners, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA).
DART led the development of the smartphone app and partnered with The T and DCTA to make it work seamlessly across the region. The North Texas transit agencies are among the first in the country to offer mobile ticketing. Other Texas transit agencies are in discussions with DART about using the GoPass mobile ticketing platform and name.
GoPass also contains a trip-planning tool powered by Google Transit, as well as rider alerts, schedule information, real-time bus and train arrivals, and information about transit-accessible activities, events and offers.
The agencies 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.
Next-train signs display arrival timesThe agency completed installation of public address/variable message board systems at all DART Rail stations in early FY 2013. The signs display train wait times and broadcast arrival announcements as well as other important information disseminated by operations communications personnel.
By the end of 2014, the agency plans to install these signs at the Northwest Plano Park & Ride, where they will provide next-bus information. Success of that installation will help determine if the signs are installed at other bus transit centers and park-and-ride facilities.
Online and mobile tools keep riders informed
DART Daily is a blog that discusses the latest on service changes, breaking agency news, updates from local events, photos, videos, infographics, features about capital projects and more. Readers can share ideas and comment on the stories moderated by media communications staff.
"Our goal is to make DART's external communications more intentional, consistent and immediate, and digital media provide tools that let the agency speak more candidly and quickly," said Morgan Lyons, assistant vice president of communications and community engagement.
Content on each digital platform is created with tablets and smartphones in mind, letting riders stay informed and entertained while on the go.
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