Inmotion
the offical newsletter of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT - Spring/Summer 2011
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DART FY2010 Financials
(2.0MB PDF file)

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.

DART Board of Directors

DART Current and Future Services Map

DART: Live, On Tape and Online

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Improving the Work Experience


President/Executive Director Gary Thomas is always willing to answer questions from DART employees. 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 ever-changing demands of their jobs,' says Ben Gomez, executive vice president, Administration.
Ben Gomez, executive VP Administration, meets with Lynda Jackson, VP Human Resources, about the new "License to Lead" training program.

Assistant Vice President, Bus Operations Tim Newby pins Leadership DART graduate Rahel Zecharias. "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
Rahel Zecharias.




Communicating More Effectively

Keeping in touch with a constantly moving, decentralized workforce is an ongoing challenge. DART's frontline employees are the day-to-day ambassadors to customers, and yet their roles in the field make them the most difficult to reach.

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.

Executive Leadership gives a 'state of the agency' update at biannual employee briefings.
Executive Leadership
gives a 'state of the agency' update at biannual employee briefings.
Several other programs allow management to talk with and listen to employees:
  • 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.


Bus Operator Succession to Supervisor (BOSS)

The Bus Operator Succession to Supervisor (BOSS) and Rail Operator Succession to Supervisor (ROSS) training programs:

  • Provide highly motivated operators the skills necessary to make the successful transition to supervisor
  • Teach all aspects of Operations such as station/division/yard, field, and dispatch/control center operations
  • Equip participants to perform functions of a supervisor on an as-needed basis


Improving Health and Wellness

Quarterly screenings raise health awareness as part of the employee wellness program. Employee health issues affect both productivity and the budget. DART's Smart Choices Wellness Program provides employees with resources, incentives and support to improve their lives through health awareness and education.

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

To face the challenging years ahead, DART has developed numerous training programs to encourage personal development, cultivate leadership and foster extraordinary customer service among employees.

"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

Each year employees support a variety of local charities through heritage organizations, as well as departmental and DART Police officers provide toys for needy children through their Santa Cops charity program. agencywide initiatives. Projects range from blood drives and toy donations to food and clothing drives, and a home renovation program called "Hearts and Hammers."

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

Educating the public about service changes, expansion plans, and bus and rail safety is an ongoing and dynamic process.

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

Throughout FY 2010, the Economic Opportunity and Procurement Departments reached out to local companies, raising Representatives from disadvantaged-, minority- and women-owned businesses meet with prime contractors at networking events. awareness of primary and subsidiary contracting opportunities and identifying strategic partnerships.

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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