Inmotion
the offical newsletter of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT - Winter 2012
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Transit Opens the Possibilities
A letter from the DART Chairman of the Board.

Putting All the Pieces in Place
Ongoing capital projects create jobs, stimulate the economy and build infrastructure for the region's future.

Going High Tech and High Touch
Online and mobile tools attract new customers with instant access to transit information, while community outreach programs recruit potential riders in person.

Cultivating a Transit Lifestyle
Rail access remains a huge advantage to properties near stations, and there’s plenty of transit-oriented development in the pipeline.

Shuttles Provide a Booster Shot
New partnerships with Baylor University Medical Center and Parkland Health and Hospital System link campuses to rail stations for easier employee and patient connections.

Mesquite is Ready to Ride
Mesquite has contracted DART bus service to connect the city to the Green Line – and the new model may be the key to expanding regional transit in the future.

Short Trips
Board member Ray Noah resigns; John Danish elected new Board chair; Streetcar environmental assessment wins accolades; Thomas elected APTA chair; Grant funds bus replacement.

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Putting all the Pieces in Place

Capital expansion adds infrastructure

A year before the December 2012 opening, crews had already completed 80% of construction on the new Downtown Rowlett Station and 100% of the six bridges and three at-grade crossings of the Blue Line extension.
A year before the December 2012 opening, crews had already completed 80% of construction on the new Downtown Rowlett Station and 100% of the six bridges and three at-grade crossings of the Blue Line extension.


DART's build-out comes at an opportune time for the local economy. During the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it's putting people to work and pumping revenue into area businesses. And the slowing in the construction sector has translated into beneficial pricing for the design and building of major capital projects.


Prime Time for Growth
"For transit agencies with money to spend, this is the time to invest in infrastructure," says DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas.

Through a combination of shrewd longterm planning and good fortune, DART is doing just that – and on a grand, even spectacular, scale.

The Orange Line station, right on the North Lake College campus, connects students, faculty and staff to other schools in the DCCCD system and gives citizens throughout the region access to this campus.
The Orange Line station, right on the North Lake College campus, connects students, faculty and staff to other schools in the DCCCD system and gives citizens throughout the region access to this campus.


Making the Bus Connection
While DART's long-term vision involves expanding the rail network, this multimodal agency knows more than rail is needed to meet the transit demands of this sprawling, congested region. And while 244,000 jobs in the service area are within walking distance of a rail station, DART can serve four times as many by persuading commuters to take a bus to connect to and from rail.

Major capital projects in the pipeline include:

Irving, Part I: The first extension of the long-awaited Orange Line will open July 30 of this year. Branching off at the Bachman Station, the line will head north to Irving stopping at the University of Dallas campus, the Las Colinas Urban Center and the new Irving Convention Center.

Irving, Part II: By the end of this year, the second segment of the Orange Line will connect the entire system to North Lake College and the Belt Line Road Station on DFW International Airport property. From there, travelers will have shuttle service directly into Terminal B at the airport.

Downtown Rowlett: The Blue Line extension, which is on schedule to open this December, will take riders the final 4.5 miles from Garland to Rowlett. The new Downtown Rowlett Station sits adjacent to an expanded Rowlett Park & Ride which will offer nearly 750 parking spaces.

Northwest Plano: Construction on the new Northwest Plano Park & Ride is under way near the intersection of the Dallas North Tollway and Tennyson Parkway. The facility is strategically located for forthcoming express bus service to and from the downtown Dallas Central Business District. Shuttle service will link to major business centers like Granite Park and the Legacy area, and three local routes will be extended to the facility for additional access.
"By getting new buses, improving bus-rail connections and introducing new kinds of routes, we make our system more attractive and convenient to a greater number of people," says Todd Plesko, DART's vice president of Planning and Development.

By the end of this year, the agency will put into service the first of a new fleet of safer and more efficient buses. They will feature accessible low-floors, quick-deploying ramps, clean-burning compressed-natural-gas (CNG) engines and security camera systems. There will be 452 new large (30- and 40-foot) buses on high ridership routes, and 123 smaller (26-foot) buses on other fixed and Flex routes. The full fleet conversion will be complete in 2015.

"For transit agencies with money to spend, this is the time to invest in infrastructure."

- Gary Thomas
DART President/Executive Director

Attracting New Ridership
With the ongoing light rail expansion, the DART System grows physically bigger and reaches a broader population base. Major employment centers – like the downtown Dallas Central Business District and various medical districts – have easy access to DART service and thus are prime marketing targets to encourage ridership and drive Employer Pass sales.

And with the Green Line open, light rail ridership is growing again. DART’s iconic yellow trains have caught the attention of a new audience of citizens who are now trying public transit for work commutes and entertainment trips.

"The long-term expectations are positive for the transit industry and every indicator shows that Americans want more public transportation, not less," says Michael Melaniphy, president/CEO of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the international organization for the bus, rapid transit, and light and commuter rail systems industry.

All these factors keep DART bullish on its role in improving mobility and being catalyst for economic development now and in the future.


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