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Downtown Dallas, Inc. promotes transit commutes
Employees embrace multimodal travel
By Matt Thomas, Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. and DART have a deep-rooted relationship. For more than a decade, DDI - the nonprofit organization supporting the safety and improvement of greater Downtown Dallas - has participated in DART's Employer Annual Pass Program. Downtown Dallas, Inc. President and CEO Kourtny Garrett says DDI pays for annual passes because it gives our employees options.
Approximately 30 DDI employees, including members of our Downtown Safety Patrol and Clean Team, use DART either daily or several times a week to commute to the city's urban core.
When I started working for DDI in July as the new communications director, I began riding the Red Line from Downtown Plano Station to the West End. It's nice to look out from the train at the traffic crawling along Central Expressway every morning and afternoon and not have to worry about that added stress.
My colleague, Doug Prude, economic development and planning analyst, has used the light rail to get to work in the Main Street District since joining DDI last year.
"DART gets me to work consistently on time. It removes variables like traffic, construction and most weather, while allowing me time to catch up on news and sports, check emails and calendar appointments, or watch a show that I've downloaded to my phone," Prude said. "Taking transit removes the hassle of finding a parking spot and cuts the costs of maintaining and fueling my SUV."
Growing our ranks: Veterans wanted
The agency's Nov. 10 parade participation is part of an ongoing initiative to increase diversity among those who apply for and obtain jobs at the transit agency. Currently, 13 percent of DART's workforce consists of military veterans, but the agency would like to raise that to 16 percent or more.
"DART is a veteran-friendly employer," Human Capital talent specialist Stefon Chandler said. "These individuals are experienced government employees who possess characteristics we value, like discipline, timeliness, respect for authority and goal-orientation."
This year, DART recruiters have attended more than 10 veterans career fairs; posted open positions on job boards at Vets.gov and AlliesInService.org; and worked with several local job clubs. The agency also hosts an annual appreciation event for current and former employees who are former members of the military, and involves veterans in its hiring activities.
Bryan's House Thanks DART
"Our agency was determined to meet the need head-on, and in a meaningful way," Bryan's House CEO Abigail Erickson said.
With DART's help, Bryan's House picked up the children daily from the mega-shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and took them to their facility in East Dallas. The kids spent the day just being kids, and their families received a much-needed break.
"We can physically see the relief on their faces each morning as the kids come in, and the moms' faces as they ride the bus back," Erickson said. "It's an amazing transformation given that (these families) spent 14+ days in the mega-shelter, (plus) lost all possessions including cars and household items.
"We are so thankful for our incredible partners, whom without your help, we would not have met the need of this group of special babies and kids and their families."
Village of Rowlett welcomes residents
Village residents can walk to dinner at nearby restaurants, ride a bike to an area park or take DART Rail to destinations and events throughout North Texas. The development blends with the historical brick buildings and pedestrian-oriented design of the downtown Main Street area.
"We are very excited for the future of our downtown area," Rowlett Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian said. "The Village of Rowlett is a catalyst development and a key component to fulfilling the vision our community has created for maintaining a small-town feel while providing enhanced live, work and play opportunities."
Lincoln Property Company is the leasing manager for the community. Developers expect to complete the project by December.
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