Improving the Work Experience
Whether answering riders' questions, providing a sense of safety, or ensuring that trains and buses arrive on schedule, DART's human element is the most critical resource we have to create a positive customer experience.
Thus it's essential that DART's 3,500+ employees are respected for their unique perspectives, recognized for high performance, trained to do their jobs well, and empowered to achieve excellence.
President/Executive Director Gary Thomas is always willing to answer questions from DART employees.
"With the incredible rate of our growth, our employees need training and support to keep pace with the everchanging demands of their jobs," says Ben Gomez, executive vice president, Administration.
Assistant Vice President, Bus Operations
Tim Newby pins Leadership DART graduate
Communicating More Effectively
Located in every division, digital signage monitors inform employees of upcoming events and initiatives. Internet kiosks provide access to the company's Intranet, DARTnet, featuring announcements about training and wellness programs, benefits updates and agency news. Employees can also access DARTnet from their home computers.
gives a 'state of the agency' update at biannual employee briefings.
- Monthly Employee Roundtables of randomly selected employees from a broad cross-section of departments meet informally with President/Executive Director Gary Thomas to share their challenges and suggestions.
- Biannual Executive Leadership Team/Employee Briefings at every division share the state of the agency and field employee concerns.
- A 15-member agencywide Employee Communications Committee strengthens internal communications between management and the workforce and reviews the interdepartmental communications of policy issues and changes.
The Bus Operator Succession to Supervisor (BOSS) and Rail Operator Succession to Supervisor (ROSS) training programs:
Improving Health and Wellness
In 2010, the program grew from 1,500 to 1,933 enrollees, nearly a 30 percent increase from the previous year. Approximately 90 percent of the enrollees participated in one or more Wellness Program activity and more than 500 members earned points-based participation prizes.
Quarterly screenings raise health awareness as part of the
employee wellness program.
Committed to Learning
"Changing demographics, technological advances and new business models are shifting the way the agency operates," says Lynda Jackson, vice president, Human Resources. "DART must remain a learning organization to help employees adapt to the evolving demands of the workplace."
A variety of training initiatives - including a business book club, customer service training, ad hoc development sessions and career guides - encourage employees to take responsibility for their personal and professional growth. The Leadership DART program engages an interdepartmental class of supervisors in training sessions and projects to develop the competencies needed to become the agency's future senior management.
Paying It Forward
In FY 2010, employees collected more than $96,000 for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. And over the holidays, they donated 15,600 pounds (nearly eight tons) of food and $20,000 in cash to the Union Gospel Mission of Dallas, a night shelter for the homeless.
"A lot of people today - including DART employees - are feeling the economic pinch," says Al Bazis, DART's United Way chairman and Internal Audit director. "It's wonderful to see how the DART family responds to the needs of others."
DART Police officers provide toys for needy children through
their Santa Cops charity program.
Connecting with the Community
Community Affairs representatives held more than 120 capital project briefings with residents, businesses, and educational institutions, and the team coordinated the community meetings, open houses, and public hearings necessary to collect public input on board-approved service changes.
A new Info Squad launched last fall to educate employers about DART's trip planning services and employer pass program. Meanwhile, the Community/Education Outreach Program staff conducted 599 programs in FY 2010, reaching a diverse audience of 132,035 people, largely in areas near the new rail line.
Programs spanned topics including how to ride, safety, career, environmental presentations/tours, capital projects and chamber-sponsored leadership tours. Students at schools near the new Green Line stations were taught about rail safety and riding the trains and buses.
Bolstering Local Businesses
The outreach team conducted numerous meetings and events to ensure Disadvantaged, Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (D/M/WBEs) were aware of and educated on the procedures for competing and bidding for purchases and contracts at DART. In FY 2010, DART exceeded agency goals, achieving an enviable 35 percent D/M/WBE participation rate on agency contracting, or more than $133 million in business.
Representatives from disadvantaged-, minority- and women-owned businesses meet with prime contractors at networking events.In addition, D/M/WBE firms accounted for more than 52 percent of underwriting and financial advisory fees in the $825 million bond sale successfully completed in October 2010.
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