Media Relations Contact:
April 3, 2000
DART bus shelters on the way
New Passenger Amenities Add Convenience, Comfort
DART continues to roll out the red carpet for customers by adding new, modern bus shelters and more benches throughout the DART Service Area.
Buses are the workhorses for DART's transit network, and inviting bus stop environments help keep regular riders and attract new ones. With this in mind, DART is investing more than $2 million over five years to improve passenger amenities, such as new shelters and benches. In addition to the shelters that already exist, the 5-year plan -- that ends in 2005 -- calls for the installation of more than 550 new shelters around the 700-square mile service area. About 75 shelters are currently being installed and will be in service by this summer.
The new bus shelter and bench program closely parallels and complements DART's 5-year bus improvement effort that includes new state-of-the-art buses, Trolley-Buses, new bus stop signs, customer information and service adjustments to accommodate those who work non-traditional hours at night or on weekends.
A highlight of the amenities program is two new Passenger Transfer Locations (PTL), one in Cockrell Hill, and another near the intersection of Bernal and Singleton, in west Dallas. The PTLs are designed with convenience and comfort of DART bus customers in mind. The buildings are equipped with restrooms, phones, vending machines and schedule kiosks. The Cockrell Hill PTL, at West Jefferson and Cockrell Hill Road, and the Bernal/Singleton PTL, at Bernal Drive and Singleton Boulevard, are scheduled to open this summer.
DART currently has 290 bus shelters in three styles to match each location. The shelters are either a cantilevered canopy style for use in narrow spaces; a full-canopy, Plexiglas-enclosed style accommodating a dozen people; or a longer version of the full-canopy style created by placing two shelters side-by-side at very high traffic stops, such as those near hospitals.
To serve the large and growing ridership in the southern sector of Dallas, an additional $1 million has been designated for 17 new, specially enhanced shelters. "These shelters will be landscaped, lighted and heated, and will accommodate four times as many customers as the standard model," said DART Facilities Planning Manager Rob Parks.
To better meet the needs of customers waiting for their bus to arrive, approximately 600 new benches are being placed at bus stops throughout the service area. Although DART already has 1,000 concrete benches, various new styles and materials are being considered for the new benches, bringing the bench total to 1,600.
"We're always asking ourselves if we can do a little more," Parks said. "Can we make the bench from material that dries a little faster after a rain? Or can we provide a backrest on a bench to make it more comfortable?" At least 200 new benches are expected to be installed this year.
"The overall amenities program goal is simple -- make riding the bus easier and more customer friendly for those who rely on DART for transportation," Parks added. "With the new convenience the shelters and benches offer, customers will look forward to riding DART into the future."
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