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Thread: DART Ridership

  1. #351
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    So you buy an electric car, and pay your money to TXU, rather than Exxon. You think Exxon is going to sit by and let that happen? You think TXU will sit idley by and let zoning codes require every new house have a solar panel installed.

    Again, in the CAB case, the people running puplic ads against electric cars and California's requirement that electirc cars equal 10% of cars sold at a certain time period were in the oil buisness. So again, these companies make lots of money of current consumption habits and will use their influence to keep the status quo intact.

    It is not a coincedence that Tom Delay helped defeat a Houston proposal for an extensive LRT system, considering that many of his top campaign contributors were oil companies.

  2. #352
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoUTASportscaster
    So you buy an electric car, and pay your money to TXU, rather than Exxon. You think Exxon is going to sit by and let that happen? You think TXU will sit idley by and let zoning codes require every new house have a solar panel installed.

    Again, in the CAB case, the people running puplic ads against electric cars and California's requirement that electirc cars equal 10% of cars sold at a certain time period were in the oil buisness. So again, these companies make lots of money of current consumption habits and will use their influence to keep the status quo intact.
    Again, Exxon and other oil companies are in the energy business. What is Exxon going to do when GM starts selling the Volt? And where does any electric company buy the energy needed to fuel their electrical generation capacity? Do you think our existing energy companies have anything to do with that? As for solar panels, I am not aware of any zoning requirement that would mandate every new house to have a solar panel installed, nor do I believe it should. Who suggested that? If the consumer would like to install them they can. TXU has ever increasing demand and could probably use the help of a solar powered kilowat here and there if it would contribute to a secure grid.

    As for the ads in California, if an energy company feels it is in their best interest to run an ad they can do that. Plus, I am reasonably sure you are only offering a very small piece of that story you feel is relevent. And to be totally honest, if some energy company would prefer to keep the "status quo" as you call it so what. They can do that if they feel that is the best way to run their business and keep profit margins in line. It is the consumer that makes the choices that will alter the direction of the energy business just as it has been doing. Maybe you have heard of ethanol, hybrid and flex fuel vehicles, wind power, fuel cells and hydrogen. How many consumers have signed up for wind power? How many hybrids have been sold? Consumers are talking, it is you that is not listening.

  3. #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    Again, Exxon and other oil companies are in the energy business. What is Exxon going to do when GM starts selling the Volt? And where does any electric company buy the energy needed to fuel their electrical generation capacity? Do you think our existing energy companies have anything to do with that? As for solar panels, I am not aware of any zoning requirement that would mandate every new house to have a solar panel installed, nor do I believe it should. Who suggested that? If the consumer would like to install them they can. TXU has ever increasing demand and could probably use the help of a solar powered kilowat here and there if it would contribute to a secure grid.
    And to expand on the solar piece - "solar farms" are popping up. Today, they are relatively small and limited in quantity, as the power industry is learning about it still and the cost is not competitive with natural gas, coal or even wind power - but if thin film makes good on it's promise of cheap solar power - you will see utilities move heavily into solar farms. Even with it being cost competitive - I would be willing to bet that most people wouldn't want solar on their roof - either it's a concern with maintenance, how long they plan to be in their home or simply that they live in a rental or apartment. I suspect if solar becomes cost competitive, TXU and other power companies will be the owners of the majority of solar generating facilities.

    Brian

  4. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    As for solar panels, I am not aware of any zoning requirement that would mandate every new house to have a solar panel installed, nor do I believe it should. Who suggested that? If the consumer would like to install them they can. TXU has ever increasing demand and could probably use the help of a solar powered kilowat here and there if it would contribute to a secure grid.
    It is an example. Energy companies would be against solar panels. There is no instance of this happening, but it proves the point. If we wanted to, as a society, we could move close to 100% renewable, low-polluting energy, but we don't because it is against the bottom line of some of the most powerful companies in the world. In Europe, which doesn't have the "influence" of some of these companies are moving to zero waste and 100% renewable energy.

    I doubt your claims that they are energy companies so they don't care. Exxon would fight with all of its power, as in the CAB case, to keep cars powered by gasoline, rather than a different companies energy. I seriously doubt Exxon would go into electric generation, since it doesn't do that at all today.

    As for the ads in California, if an energy company feels it is in their best interest to run an ad they can do that. Plus, I am reasonably sure you are only offering a very small piece of that story you feel is relevent. And to be totally honest, if some energy company would prefer to keep the "status quo" as you call it so what. They can do that if they feel that is the best way to run their business and keep profit margins in line. It is the consumer that makes the choices that will alter the direction of the energy business just as it has been doing. Maybe you have heard of ethanol, hybrid and flex fuel vehicles, wind power, fuel cells and hydrogen. How many consumers have signed up for wind power? How many hybrids have been sold? Consumers are talking, it is you that is not listening.
    The first sentence is the whole point. Energy companies don't want to cede the marketplace and lose potenial revenue for the bottomline and do what's in their best interest, not ours.

    Plus the thought of the market dictating much is bogus. From its very nature, a free market is non-existent, since its very founding is done through a government. The auto and oil industries are one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the country, from the roads we drive one, to direct tax breaks to those industries all the way down to the military being used to secure "American Interests". The thought of the free market actually in place in the energy sector is a pipe dream at best.

  5. #355
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    When discussing the auto industry and hybrid vehicles, it's instructive to remember that the Detroit automakers were *not* the innovators in hybrid technology. They pioneered vehicles like the Navigator and the Hummer and the other gas-guzzling behemoths. GM *had* an electric car, but for whatever reason (I need to see the movie), it was never released to the public.

    The point is that, while GM and Toyota are both "car companies", they each decided to serve the car market in different ways. Toyota looked ahead and built the Prius. GM looked ahead and convinced Congress to give big tax breaks to Hummer owners. Similarly, one oil company (perhaps BP) may become the major provider of solar panels, while another (perhaps Exxon) may pay for favorable legislation to keep oil king.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  6. #356
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    http://www.reuters.com/article/bonds...37338320080310

    Mass transit use hits 50-year high on pump prices
    Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:48am EDT

    By Rebekah Kebede

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of Americans hopping buses and grabbing subway straps has climbed to the highest level in half a century as soaring gasoline costs push more commuters to take mass transit.

    U.S. mass transit ridership began to surge when gasoline hit the $3 a gallon level in 2005 and has continued to rise steadily ever since as pump prices top record after record, according to a report released on Monday by the American Public Transit Association.

    "As people are struggling with the increase in fuel prices, they have to make adjustments, and one of the ways they are doing that is driving less and taking public transportation more," said William Millar, the president of the APTA.

    Mass transit use increased by more than 2 percent in 2007 to the highest level in 50 years, with Americans taking more than 10 billion trips on public transport while the number of vehicle miles traveled was flat in the first 10 months of the year.

    Even when gasoline prices dipped last year and some people returned to driving, others appear to have switched to public transport permanently, according to Millar.

    "We started seeing gas prices consistently go above $3 a gallon (in 2005) and we noticed that overall transit ridership was going up," Millar said.

    "When gas prices moderated, some of those people said, 'Hey, this works pretty good for me, I'll stick with it.'"

    The largest area of mass transit growth was in light rail use, which includes street cars and trolleys, with a 6 percent increase during 2007. Commuter rails were second with an increase of 5.5 percent in ridership and subway ridership had an increase of 3.1 percent.

    Cities with less than 100,000 people also saw a large increase -- 6.4 percent -- in public transportation use.

    With many analysts predicting $4 gasoline this summer, mass transit use is likely to become even more popular.

    "If past experience is any indication, as the price of fuel goes up and particularly as it hits a psychological milestone, which I expect $4 is, I would expect that we would see a spurt in ridership," Millar said.

    (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Matthew Robinson and Matthew Lewis)

  7. #357
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    Is there a place online where DART shows ridership numbers?

  8. #358
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    "If past experience is any indication, as the price of fuel goes up and particularly as it hits a psychological milestone, which I expect $4 is, I would expect that we would see a spurt in ridership," Millar said.
    That's why I don't think it'll hit $4 this year. Or if it does, it'll go back down... just like prices hit $3 and then went down for a while. $3 doesn't seem as bad this time around, so you don't see the same level of protest and anger against the oil companies. I expect them to do the same thing with the psychological barrier of $4/gal.

    It's not a conspiracy... it's just smart marketing.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  9. #359
    DART Bus fan DalLove444's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    ....Cities with less than 100,000 people also saw a large increase -- 6.4 percent -- in public transportation use....
    Good for the article to point this out.

    I suspect this effect is temporary as coverage and service frequencies of buses in cities of +-100,000 arent really ideal for people to use everyday for commute, let alone leisure. Just my 2 cents but I suspect for the most part, only the largest US cities show more transit ridership than midsize cities like dallas, while midsize cities transit ridership only increase slightly or remain flat. Just IMO.

  10. #360
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DalLove444
    Good for the article to point this out.

    I suspect this effect is temporary as coverage and service frequencies of buses in cities of +-100,000 arent really ideal for people to use everyday for commute, let alone leisure. Just my 2 cents but I suspect for the most part, only the largest US cities show more transit ridership than midsize cities like dallas, while midsize cities transit ridership only increase slightly or remain flat. Just IMO.
    But consider towns like Tyler or Sherman/Denison, where sprawl hasn't taken hold to the extent that it has in the larger cities. To some extent, a town of 100k is likely more centralized, with a business center downtown, perhaps a college campus, and a pre-war neighborhood-oriented residential base. You actually have a better situation for building viable public transportation routes than you do in a sprawling suburb like, say Mesquite, with no particular center other than the mall, and even that district consists of islands of retail in a sea of parking.

    Add to that the fact that people in a smaller town feel like they know each other. Even those from diverse ethnic backgrounds share a common identity. I'd bet you could get two people from opposite sides of Paris, TX -- a town still at war with itself over long-standing racial issues -- and they'd be more comfortable riding the same bus than an equivalent pair from North Dallas and Fair Park. The differences are the same, but the feeling of shared experience makes those differences less important on a personal level. So you end up with a population that is more likely to choose the bus.

    I wouldn't dismiss the increase in bus ridership in smaller towns as a statistical anomaly. More like a preview of the future.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  11. #361
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    I my experience, snice people in small towns really do know most of the residents, they are way more likely to ride share for shopping and/or work... so public transit is less important. I know when I lived up in Michigan, I car pooled with friends for both work and college.

  12. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB
    That's why I don't think it'll hit $4 this year. Or if it does, it'll go back down... just like prices hit $3 and then went down for a while. $3 doesn't seem as bad this time around, so you don't see the same level of protest and anger against the oil companies. I expect them to do the same thing with the psychological barrier of $4/gal.

    It's not a conspiracy... it's just smart marketing.
    No not really, smart marketing still implies conspiracy.

  13. #363
    DART Bus fan DalLove444's Avatar
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    Fascinating DART article to read:

    Media Relations Contact:
    Morgan Lyons


    April 8, 2008

    New customer satisfaction survey results

    Customers give DART an 'A'

    http://www.dart.org/news/news.asp?ID=787

    More than 90% of DART's customers say they're satisfied with the transit agency's services and 93% of them would recommend DART to others, according to a new customer survey.

    In the survey, nine out of 10 respondents had good things to say about bus and rail operator courtesy. And the Customer Information Center received a "thumbs up" of nearly the same proportion. In both cases, DART saw big improvements over the last customer survey, conducted in September 2006.

    The survey was conducted in October and November 2007 among more than 5,500 customers representing all DART modes and member cities, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3% at a 95% confidence level.

    Other key findings focus on security, performance
    The customer sense of safety and security was up markedly from previous surveys. The 73% customer satisfaction rating with the visibility of uniformed DART personnel (police officers, fare enforcement inspectors and others) on trains is a 16-percentage point increase over the September 2006 survey. To help improve performance, DART is working to fill more than two-dozen new police officer positions and five fare enforcement officer positions. That would increase the number of police officers to 190 and fare enforcement officers to 35.

    The survey reported a 14-percentage point increase in customer satisfaction with security at transit centers and park and rides, with a rating of 84% compared to the previous 70%. Finally, 89% of customers also reported satisfaction with the security on buses, an improvement of 3-percentage points.

    While customer satisfaction with the on-time performance of DART's trains remained high at 94%, satisfaction with bus on-time performance increased 3-percentage points to 80%. Satisfaction with bus/rail on-time transfers was up 6-percentage points to 85% compared with the last survey.

    And 87% of survey respondents reported the Customer Information Center answered calls promptly compared with 74% in the last survey.

    There's still work to do
    Customer satisfaction in the following areas has shown some gains since the September 2006 survey, but the 2007 survey still indicates major areas where DART has room for improvement. Some changes are already under way.

    50% of respondents say they have experienced bus pass-bys -- reflecting a 4-percentage point improvement over the last survey results, but still unacceptably high. DART has improved signage on board vehicles and at transit centers to make sure customers know where to stand to catch the bus they want.


    The 72% customer satisfaction with bus cleanliness represents a 3-percentage point improvement. Bus washing frequency has been increased and more bus servicers have been hired since the survey was completed.


    Other quality improvement initiatives include additional customer service training for operators and additional buses on standby during midday and weekend hours to support customers in the event of a mechanical breakdown, accident or other service disruption.

  14. #364
    Mega-Tall Skyscraper Member AeroD's Avatar
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    DART may get an "A", but I am giving some of DART's riders a "D".

    I hate getting a window seat and see that the person before me decided to leave their forehead residue on the window.
    Tighten the female dog!

  15. #365
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    I'd be able to give the survey more credence if DART had published the questions.

    WFAA.com had that online survey that asked people to rank DART's facilities on a scale that was heavily weighted against DART ("spotless" and "very clean" are not the opposite of "distasteful" and "deplorable").

    But it's also possible to slant a survey the other way entirely. And DART's management is operating in full-out George W. Bush mode: stay the course, and if anyone says otherwise (like the engineers and their managers that knew about a billion-dollar shortfall for nine months) , fire them. I could hardly expect them to come out with a survey that *didn't* have predetermined positive answers.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  16. #366
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Saving gas is part of new lifestyles for some Texans

    01:52 AM CDT on Sunday, April 13, 2008
    By ELIZABETH SOUDER / The Dallas Morning News
    esouder@dallasnews.com

    Texans are conserving gasoline.

    The people in the land of pickup trucks and long commutes are finding marginal ways to cut back without turning their lives upside down. Fewer trips to the store. Vacations closer to home. Riding the light rail.

    "I don't go anywhere anymore. I basically sit here at the house. I'm home-bound," said Ramona Johnson, a 48-year-old Wilmer resident who commutes to Garland and now does all of her shopping on the way home.

    "I make good money. It's like, it's not just the gas that's high. Have you seen the price of eggs lately?"

    Surprisingly, experts say record high gasoline prices aren't necessarily the reason for conservation here and across the country. It's mostly the weak economy and baby boomers trading in their SUVs for smaller cars as their children leave home.

    That means some conservation might become permanent. But once the economy improves, people could return to their old driving habits.

    Per capita gasoline consumption in Texas dropped during the winter months compared with last year. In February, as regular gasoline hit $2.93 a gallon on average in Texas, the average Texan used 39.12 gallons, down 0.8 percent.

    The trend reversed in March. Gasoline rose to $3.15 a gallon on average in Texas, but Texans still used 2.5 percent more than the prior year. Per capita usage in March hit 38.56 gallons.

    "We don't have any evidence that there is a particular price point at which people are going to drastically stop using gasoline," said Laurie Falter, an oil industry economist with the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.

    "I can't say, 'Oh well, it went up 10 cents, so I'm not going to work anymore or the kids can't go to school,' " she said.

    The weaker economy cuts consumer spending on everything – from gasoline to eggs to clothes. So consumers and delivery trucks make fewer trips to stores.

    "I used to, would go out to the little suburban cities to look at antiques," said Oak Cliff resident Thelma Washington. Not anymore.

    She was shopping at NorthPark Center one afternoon last month, but only because she had a doctor's appointment nearby.

    Still, the economic downturn hasn't hit the Texas economy as hard as other states.

    Already plenty of people say they just can't do much to cut back on driving. Eric Stevens lives in Mesquite and works in Oak Cliff. His only choice is to drive.

    "Right now, you just have to live with it," he said.


    Smaller by choice

    Rob Vestal drives from Dallas to Arlington for work. He said the best he can do to cut down on gasoline costs is to keep his car tuned up.

    Some people are cutting back by buying more efficient vehicles. Again, the car switch often has more to do with economics and demographics than gasoline prices.

    "It doesn't make any difference what the price of gasoline is, people are choosing smaller vehicles. That doesn't mean small – that means smaller than what they had," said George Pipas, an analyst for Ford Motor Co.

    He identified two large groups of people who are ready to buy smaller cars. Baby boomers, whose children no longer live at home, are trading in the SUVs and minivans for slightly smaller vehicles. He said crossover utility vehicles are a popular choice.

    Also, many children of those baby boomers are entering the workforce and want small cars, Mr. Pipas said.

    Sales of sport utility vehicles were down nearly 20 percent in February, according to Autodata Corp, and large SUV sales were down 30 percent. Sales of small cars were up nearly 5 percent.

    Business is brisk at Frank Kent Motor Co.'s Honda dealership in Fort Worth.

    "We've had people bailing out of every conceivable vehicle" for a Honda, said assistant sales manager Candy Grantham. That's been happening for the past year and a half, she added. Outside her office, a "Best Fuel Economy" sign dangles from the ceiling.

    She said some people calculate that if they trade in their gas guzzler, the fuel savings alone would make the monthly payments on a small Honda.

    But a lot of customers are making less dramatic shifts.

    "I've taken in a lot of Tahoes for Caravans," said Marc Fowler, a sales manager for Frank Kent Dodge, on the same enormous lot. The shift from an SUV to a minivan adds a few miles per gallon to a family's fuel efficiency.

    Across the lot at the Hummer dealership, a sign on the door touts the fuel efficiency of the new Hummer H3: 20 miles per gallon.

    Sales have suffered for the 13-mile-per-gallon Hummer H2. Total U.S. sales were down 46 percent in February, according to Autodata.


    'Creature comforts'

    Frank Kent general manager Dave Martin concedes that U.S. vehicles are bound to get smaller. Still, he said, some people want their big trucks.

    "There are certain creature comforts that nobody wants to give up or can't give up," he said.

    A few Texans are making drastic changes that cut their gasoline use. These tend to accompany big life changes such as moving to a new city or bearing children.

    Pam Veshia moved to Dallas two years ago and chose an apartment near an express bus stop that takes her directly to her urban planning job downtown.

    The money she saves on gasoline goes toward paying off her student loans.

    "It's an economic choice," she said. "What would I rather spend my money doing?"

    Cynthia Palmer had a baby girl two years ago. Her 100-mile round-trip commute had to end.

    Now the lawyer arranges her schedule so she can work in an office near her home in Rockwall most days rather than driving to Lewisville.

    "I try to do everything I can via phone or e-mail," she said.

    She's not going back to the long commute, even if gas prices drop.


    Looking into the future

    The Energy Information Administration made these predictions Tuesday in its Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels outlook. Read the entire report at: www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html.

    •U.S. regular gasoline prices will reach a monthly average peak of about $3.60 a gallon this spring.

    •U.S. regular gasoline prices will average around $3.54 a gallon this summer compared with $2.93 a gallon last year.

    •Americans will use 0.4 percent less gasoline this summer than last summer because of the economic slowdown and higher gasoline prices.

    •Fuel consumption will rise again in 2009 if the economy recovers and gas prices ease.

  17. #367
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    How some Texans are re-engineering their commutes

    01:53 AM CDT on Sunday, April 13, 2008
    By ELIZABETH SOUDER / The Dallas Morning News
    esouder@dallasnews.com Elizabeth Souder

    Many Texans are cutting back on gasoline. They're taking small steps, like going to the store less often, and big ones like trading in their gas guzzlers. It added up to lower per capita gasoline usage during the winter, although consumption surged in March.

    Patricia Johnson: Taking the train

    When gasoline prices began hitting record highs, Patricia Johnson parked her car and hopped on the train.

    A few weeks ago, she began riding the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail from Garland to her job in North Dallas as an administrative assistant for a commercial real estate developer. She plans to take public transport four times a week.

    "I actually get to work earlier than if I drive. When I drive, I fool around, and I wait until the last minute," said Ms. Johnson, 49.

    She figures the $50 monthly DART pass saves her a little money on gasoline and the wear on her car.

    Plus, she said, "You don't have to deal with the traffic."

    Brian Ballard: Bicycling to work

    A year ago Brian Ballard started shifting his commute from a 2000 Dodge Ram pickup to his bicycle.

    He still drives to his electrical engineering job at Texas Instruments if the weather is bad. When it's nice, he cycles the 33-mile round trip. Sometimes he bikes to the DART station and hops on the train.

    Mr. Ballard, 23, said he saves about $100 a month on gasoline, and parking the truck helps the environment. Plus he likes the exercise. "I enjoy riding my bike; it's a good way to get that workout in and not have to spend so much extra time doing it," he said.

    The Potvins: Changing plans

    The Potvin family usually drives to Port Aransas for vacation. This year, they'll shorten the drive by an hour. Suzette Potvin said she, her husband and three children will load up the Tahoe in June and head to Galveston. It's closer to family living in Houston, but they'll have to forgo seeing the friends they normally visit in Port Aransas.

    "It's just, you know, a change of scenery and trying to make the best out of it. Obviously, flying is out of budget as well," said Ms. Potvin, a 41-year-old accountant who lives in Lake Highlands.

    "They have Schlitterbahn down there and a Putt-Putt," she said, and a few more options for the familye's 6-year-old and 4-year-old twins.


    Stuart Kraft: Downsizing his art

    Dallas artist Stuart Kraft figures he's saving $400 a month since he traded in his 2005 Ford F150 pickup truck for a Scion stationwagon.

    The downside: Mr. Kraft has to make smaller art. Some of the furniture and sculpture he used to make doesn't fit in his new vehicle.

    "All the art's just going to have to conform," he said. "If it don't fit in the Scion, it don't get made right now."

    Mr. Kraft still has an old F250 diesel pickup that he drives to his farm in East Texas to pick up wood. Sometimes he burns peanut oil in the old truck rather than pay for diesel.

    He's also trying to sell more art on his Internet site, rather than taking the work to galleries around the country. It saves him fuel, especially if customers agree to pick up the art and furniture themselves.

    Elizabeth Souder


    Save money on gas

    •Drive like an old person: slow and smooth.

    •Keep the car tuned, the oil changed and the tires properly inflated.

    •Plan a route to do errands efficiently, in one trip.

    •Clean out the trunk. The more weight the car carries, the harder the engine has to work.

    •Don't idle the engine. Turn it off.

    •Avoid left turns. UPS plans its delivery routes with as few left turns as possible to cut down on idling.

    •Carpool.

    •For families with multiple vehicles, use the most efficient one as often as possible.

    •Calculate whether it makes financial sense to trade in your vehicle for a more efficient one. For some people, the gasoline savings alone cover the new monthly payments.

    •Consider diesel. Diesel vehicles typically use less fuel than comparable gasoline engines.

    •Try making a trip without a vehicle. Take the bus. Walk. Ride a bike. Avoiding traffic and getting some exercise can be refreshing.

    SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

  18. #368
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    It's worth it to check out the paper version today for these stories, there's a DART picture which is funny as hell. Of course, not online on the award-winning website. One DART pic is fine, people talking and laughing. But the other one has this poor lady who changed her commute sitting smashed up against a random guy in the side-facing seats. Hopefully they know each other, since in my youth you didn't get that far on a first date, much less riding to work. Not the best advertisement for spacious DART rail.
    "Deaths on the road are to today's criminal justice system what domestic violence was in the past: as natural & inevitable as the weather."
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  19. #369
    Mega-Tall Skyscraper Member AeroD's Avatar
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    New York Times

    May 10, 2008
    Gas Prices Send Surge of Riders to Mass Transit
    By CLIFFORD KRAUSS


    DENVER — With the price of gas approaching $4 a gallon, more commuters are abandoning their cars and taking the train or bus instead.

    Mass transit systems around the country are seeing standing-room-only crowds on bus lines where seats were once easy to come by. Parking lots at many bus and light rail stations are suddenly overflowing, with commuters in some towns risking a ticket or tow by parking on nearby grassy areas and in vacant lots.

    “In almost every transit system I talk to, we’re seeing very high rates of growth the last few months,” said William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association.

    “It’s very clear that a significant portion of the increase in transit use is directly caused by people who are looking for alternatives to paying $3.50 a gallon for gas.”

    Some cities with long-established public transit systems, like New York and Boston, have seen increases in ridership of 5 percent or more so far this year. But the biggest surges — of 10 to 15 percent or more over last year — are occurring in many metropolitan areas in the South and West where the driving culture is strongest and bus and rail lines are more limited.

    Here in Denver, for example, ridership was up 8 percent in the first three months of the year compared with last year, despite a fare increase in January and a slowing economy, which usually means fewer commuters. Several routes on the system have reached capacity, particularly at rush hour, for the first time.

    “We are at a tipping point,” said Clarence W. Marsella, chief executive of the Denver Regional Transportation District, referring to gasoline prices.

    Transit systems in metropolitan areas like Minneapolis, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco reported similar jumps. In cities like Houston, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte, N.C., commuters in growing numbers are taking advantage of new bus and train lines built or expanded in the last few years. The American Public Transportation Association reports that localities with fewer than 100,000 people have also experienced large increases in bus ridership.

    In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports that ridership was up the first three months of the year by more than 5 percent on the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad, while M.T.A. bus ridership was up 10.9 percent. New York City subway use was up 6.8 percent for January and February. Ridership on New Jersey Transit trains was up more than 5 percent for the first three months of the year.

    The increase in transit use coincides with other signs that American motorists are beginning to change their driving habits, including buying smaller vehicles. The Energy Department recently predicted that Americans would consume slightly less gasoline this year than last — for the first yearly decline since 1991.

    Oil prices broke yet another record on Friday, climbing $2.27, to $125.96 a barrel. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline reached $3.67 a gallon, up from $3.04 a year ago, according to AAA.

    But meeting the greater demand for mass transit is proving difficult. The cost of fuel and power for public transportation is about three times that of four years ago, and the slowing economy means local sales tax receipts are down, so there is less money available for transit services. Higher steel prices are making planned expansions more expensive.

    Typically, mass transit systems rely on fares to cover about a third of their costs, so they depend on sales taxes and other government funding. Few states use gas tax revenue for mass transit.

    In Denver, transportation officials expected to pay $2.62 a gallon for diesel this year, but they are now paying $3.20. Every penny increase costs the Denver Regional Transportation District an extra $100,000 a year. And it is bracing for a $19 million shortfall in sales taxes this year from original projections.

    “I’d like to put more buses on the street,” Mr. Marsella said. “I can’t expand service as much as I’d like to.”

    Average annual growth from sales tax revenue for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, a rail service that connects San Francisco with Oakland, has been 4.5 percent over the last 15 years. It expects that to fall to 2 percent this year, and electricity costs are rising.

    “This is a year of abundant caution and concern,” said Dorothy W. Dugger, BART’s general manager, even though ridership on the line was up nearly 5 percent in the first quarter of the year.

    Nevertheless, Ms. Dugger is happy that mass transit is winning over converts. “The future of mass transit in this country has never been brighter,” she said.

    Other factors may be driving people to mass transit, too. Wireless computers turn travel time into productive work time, and more companies are offering workers subsidies to take buses or trains. Traffic congestion is getting worse in many cities, and parking more expensive.

    Michael Brewer, an accountant who had always driven the 36-mile trip to downtown Houston from the suburb of West Belford, said he had been thinking about switching to the bus for the last two years. The final straw came when he put $100 of gas into his Pontiac over four days a couple of weeks ago.

    “Finally I was ready to trade my independence for the savings,” he said while waiting for a bus.

    Brayden Portillo, a freshman at the University of Colorado Denver, drove from his home in the northern suburbs to the downtown campus in his Jeep Cherokee the entire first semester of the school year, enjoying the rap and disco music blasting from his CD player.

    He switched to the bus this semester because he was spending $40 a week on gas — half his salary as a part-time store clerk. “Finally, I thought this is stupid,” he said, and he is using the savings to pay down a credit card debt.

    The sudden jump in ridership comes after several years of steady, gradual growth. Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation last year, up 2.1 percent from 2006. Transit managers are predicting growth of 5 percent or more this year, the largest increase in at least a decade.

    “If we are in a recession or economic downturn, we should be seeing a stagnation or decrease in ridership, but we are not,” said Daniel Grabauskas, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which serves the Boston area. “Fuel prices are without question the single most important factor that is driving people to public transportation.”

    Some cities are seeing spectacular gains. The Charlotte Area Transit System, which has a new light rail line, reported that it logged more than two million trips in February, up more than 34 percent from February 2007.

    Caltrain, the commuter rail line that serves the San Francisco Peninsula and the Santa Clara Valley, set a record for average weekday ridership in February of 36,993, a 9.3 increase from 2007, according to its most recent public calculation.

    The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which operates a commuter rail system from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, posted a rise of more than 20 percent in rider numbers this March and April as monthly ridership climbed to 350,000.

    “Nobody believed that people would actually give up their cars to ride public transportation,” said Joseph J. Giulietti, executive director of the authority. “But in the last year, and last several months in particular, we have seen exactly that.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/bu...293&ei=5087%0A
    Last edited by AeroD; 11 May 2008 at 02:41 PM.
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  20. #370
    DART Bus fan DalLove444's Avatar
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    Very encouraging article aero. Great to see the midsize cities' transit ridership see the biggest gains, which are really needed. Especially Charlotte's CATS system, which I didn't know already has a LRT line. Congrats to CATS!

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    I think what we have to be careful with is not to throw wads of cash at our transit agencies in an emotional fix this outburst. Sure our education system needs an increase but throwing lots money at it would only waste more money faster. I am hoping this year and next we will start to see national attention shift more funds away from so much highway bulk and more into Transit agencies. Sure there will be waste just like DART currently runs as a non-profit transit agency. Its our job as citizens to keep the pressure on but whether you believe in global warming or not if we act too hastily about the problem we will end up screwing things badly in the other direction. It is very possible to over steer Mass transit and other green earth activities.

  22. #372
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    Thursday's All Things Considered (NPR radio) featured three stories of commuters moving from car to rail, in Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles. Interesting stories, discussing the pros and cons, including the length of the commute.

    One thing that was mentioned in the Boston piece is that highway traffic has actually been affected by gas prices. I've noticed a smoother afternoon drive on I-635 in Dallas -- could it be that there really are fewer cars on the road?

    The Miami piece touched on the issue that's lurking beneath the surface, though... more riders, but no additional revenue to support them. Their county-funded agency is making plans to *cut* routes due to a budget shortfall. Hard economic times mean lower sales tax revenues in DART's case, and farebox revenues don't cover the expenses. On the other hand, I could now pay about $7.50 for my express-bus trip and still come out ahead on DART.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

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    If for sure plan my daily errands carefully and try to do them all in one trip. I sure wish I could take a bus out here in Grapevine though. It's too bad a slowing economy also slows expansion of mass transit as well. I travel to NYC almost weekly, and I can't imagine even messing with a car there. One day I hope transportation is looked at as a whole, instead of highway vs. railway nitty gritty. They both do the same thing and both types of users benefit.

  24. #374

  25. #375
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Has anybody else noticed a drop in the number of cars on the freeways/tollways during rush hours?

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    ^ I did hear that at least in Houston, attendance at Astros' games are being affected by gas prices. As far as the Texas Rangers, attendance is affected due to the fact that Texas Rangers are the Texas Rangers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeroD
    ^ I did hear that at least in Houston, attendance at Astros' games are being affected by gas prices. As far as the Texas Rangers, attendance is affected due to the fact that Texas Rangers are the Texas Rangers.
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  28. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by DalLove444
    Very encouraging article aero. Great to see the midsize cities' transit ridership see the biggest gains, which are really needed. Especially Charlotte's CATS system, which I didn't know already has a LRT line. Congrats to CATS!
    This was confusing to me. I could have sworn that the CATS did not have a light rail line until Thanksgiving 2007, so how can they see an increase of 34% Feb 2008 from Feb 2007? It didn't even exist then. :2baffled:

  29. #379
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    Yep. Just checked wikipedia and the CATS rail system called LYNX started operating on November 24th, 2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbadger
    This was confusing to me. I could have sworn that the CATS did not have a light rail line until Thanksgiving 2007, so how can they see an increase of 34% Feb 2008 from Feb 2007? It didn't even exist then. :2baffled:
    The comparison is for all modes. CATS is not just a rail system. Before rail, they had (and still have) buses. Just like DART is more than just rail, despite what many people refer to as "The DART" thinking thats the name for the fancy train they see on TV sometimes.
    Last edited by palchik; 16 May 2008 at 12:19 AM.

  31. #381
    DART Bus fan DalLove444's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbadger
    This was confusing to me. I could have sworn that the CATS did not have a light rail line until Thanksgiving 2007, so how can they see an increase of 34% Feb 2008 from Feb 2007? It didn't even exist then. :2baffled:
    Oh i dont know much about the CATS LRT system but I looked over some of Charlotte's bus schedules. Some of them have very good frequency of service, i.e. "16 S Tryon"

  32. #382
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    I used the trains last night, an I can say it was much more crowded than it was a couple months ago. Even though it was a Thursday night, from around 8pm to 10:30 pm it was really crowded, could not get a seat.

    The only thing that bothered me was that the trains ran so infrequently, waiting took sooo much time, and the trains were filled to the brim. They need more trains running more frequently.

    Are there any plans to increase frequency, and maybe lengthen operating hours?

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    ^ DART doesn't have the money to run the trains more frequently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    I used the trains last night, an I can say it was much more crowded than it was a couple months ago. Even though it was a Thursday night, from around 8pm to 10:30 pm it was really crowded, could not get a seat.

    The only thing that bothered me was that the trains ran so infrequently, waiting took sooo much time, and the trains were filled to the brim. They need more trains running more frequently.

    Are there any plans to increase frequency, and maybe lengthen operating hours?
    Prior to 9 pm, they run every 20 minutes, and every 10 during peak hours. That's pretty frequent. There are only a small number of buses that go past 20 minute headways in non-peak hours.

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    My concern with the rising price of gas and food is the only thing the poor will have left is a loaded gun. It's going to be a long hot summer.
    Last edited by concretist; 17 May 2008 at 09:05 PM.

  36. #386
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    Maybe we should get a hedge fund started to bid up the price of bullets!

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    Or, just vote for Obama/Hillary and let them round up all the bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoUTASportscaster
    Prior to 9 pm, they run every 20 minutes, and every 10 during peak hours. That's pretty frequent. There are only a small number of buses that go past 20 minute headways in non-peak hours.
    I'm sorry, I just don't think thats frequent enough, not enough to encourage more ridership. If you get there as a train is leaving, or right after, a 20 minute wait makes it miserable.

    I think it should be every ten minutes, at all times "(well at least before 10pm). Makes it easy, and prevents people from being squished in like sardines like the other night. If they are that bad on a Thursday night at 10:30 pm, how bad are they at peak hours?

  39. #389
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    At peak hours, the trains run every ten minutes and have three cars, not the two or one at night.

  40. #390
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    Makes it easy, and prevents people from being squished in like sardines like the other night.
    Have you ever ridden mass trans in real cities? quite often one has to squeeze themselves onto the train to get on. Check youtube there are plenty of clips of how full trains can get.

  41. #391
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    20 minutes should not make anyone miserable. We do need to learn some good mass transit routines:
    - always bring a book
    - use Cityplace as your refuge. Hot or cold, rain or shine, take any color to get to Cityplace. Then use habit #1 to put that time to good use.

    We don't need any more runs. We need to fill the capacity that we've bought.

  42. #392
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    I'm sorry, I just don't think thats frequent enough, not enough to encourage more ridership. If you get there as a train is leaving, or right after, a 20 minute wait makes it miserable.

    I think it should be every ten minutes, at all times "(well at least before 10pm). Makes it easy, and prevents people from being squished in like sardines like the other night. If they are that bad on a Thursday night at 10:30 pm, how bad are they at peak hours?

    How exactly do you propose to pay for 10 minute frequency everywhere, all the time? If DARTs service area only extended as far out as Loop 12 in all directions, a 10 minute frequency might be possible with the current fleet size, but with a 700 sq. mile service area, DART is stretched pretty damn thin!

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    The main reason I think there should be more frequent, less packed trains is because I think it will attract more people to use the trains. The extra 35 minutes spent waiting (15 for the way there and 20 for the way back) made it not worth the gas savings or being in traffic. Then, trains filled to the brim with hardly a place to grab (this was about as packed as I have seen a train, including NY, London, and Paris), didn't help either.

    Now I am not saying its a horrible thing, I will still keep using DART, but if they want to get more Dallasites on board, they are going to have to provide an easier transition. There is no use having miles and miles of lines if trains are going to run infrequently and be packed, scaring off many potential users.

    Maybe 15 minute intervals instead of 20? All I am saying is that the 15 and 20 minute waits (and it WAS in Cityplace) kind of sucked.

    I guess I just need to plan better, but if they tried to squeeze many more people on to that train it wouldn't have been pretty. Theres going to be a point where they MUST increase capacity, and I think it would be more productive to add more frequent trains rather than an extra car, even if it costs more.

  44. #394
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    The main reason I think there should be more frequent, less packed trains is because I think it will attract more people to use the trains. The extra 35 minutes spent waiting (15 for the way there and 20 for the way back) made it not worth the gas savings or being in traffic. Then, trains filled to the brim with hardly a place to grab (this was about as packed as I have seen a train, including NY, London, and Paris), didn't help either.

    Now I am not saying its a horrible thing, I will still keep using DART, but if they want to get more Dallasites on board, they are going to have to provide an easier transition. There is no use having miles and miles of lines if trains are going to run infrequently and be packed, scaring off many potential users.

    Maybe 15 minute intervals instead of 20? All I am saying is that the 15 and 20 minute waits (and it WAS in Cityplace) kind of sucked.

    I guess I just need to plan better, but if they tried to squeeze many more people on to that train it wouldn't have been pretty. Theres going to be a point where they MUST increase capacity, and I think it would be more productive to add more frequent trains rather than an extra car, even if it costs more.
    Again, though, there's no way to increase capacity without increasing funding. DART runs on sales tax revenues, which *decrease* during an economic downturn -- when more people need their service. Until state legislators authorize a more stable funding source, we're stuck with sparse routes and infrequent service, especially on the bus side.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  45. #395
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    Having spent time on the Brown line going into downtown and on the Blue line out to O'Hare during the never ending (and still going) construction in Chicago, Dallas is nowhere near that standard of poor temperature control, delays, and crowded conditions. Ride the Loop lately? The trains are barely crawling around the circuit. Something is seriously wrong in that city and I have to believe finances are good reason. A transit system that grows faster than its finances will inevitably disappoint.

    Most new riders will either use DART for commuting or attend a special event. Going to the right places at the published schedule is the most important factor for those consumers. A market exists for people like myself with annual passes that hop on/off trains and buses to get around town, but we are a flea speck in the total market. If people can learn to adapt to the rush hour hells that are Central Expressway, Dallas Tollway, I-30, and mixmaster, DART is a piece of cake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjblazin
    Most new riders will either use DART for commuting or attend a special event. Going to the right places at the published schedule is the most important factor for those consumers. A market exists for people like myself with annual passes that hop on/off trains and buses to get around town, but we are a flea speck in the total market. If people can learn to adapt to the rush hour hells that are Central Expressway, Dallas Tollway, I-30, and mixmaster, DART is a piece of cake.
    Thats exactly right, DART invests most of its resources into serving the transit patterns of the critical mass (i.e. those that travel during the traditional rush-hours). At those times of the day you have rail frequencies of up to every 4 minutes, and bus frequencies of up to every 10 minutes on some routes. As the peak crowds subside though, you end up reaching a point of diminishing returns. You could keep frequencies high longer, but you simply wouldn't get the ridership levels to justify the extra investment, and then DART would have to answer to the taxpayers (who fund the service) on why buses are running every 15 minutes, when half the number of buses could do they job every 30 minutes and still meet ridership demand. In other words, if you really want to see more service frequeny, then start riding more in the off-peak, and convince all your family and friends to do the same, and make sure to do all your money spending within the 13-city DART service area so that DART will have the tax revenue to fund the higher frequency of service that all the new riders would justify!
    Last edited by RobertB; 20 May 2008 at 08:32 AM. Reason: fix quote

  47. #397
    DART Bus fan DalLove444's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palchik
    ...In other words, if you really want to see more service frequeny, then start riding more in the off-peak, and convince all your family and friends to do the same, and make sure to do all your money spending within the 13-city DART service area so that DART will have the tax revenue to fund the higher frequency of service that all the new riders would justify!
    Couldnt agree more! But i think we could do more than that. For example, the Dallas CVB and hotels around the area can encourage tourists to use DART train or bus during their visit. This is what i do.

    BEGIN HIJACK - I take #21 to/from my hotel on N central & Fitzhugh. Its not as frequent as i would like to see but its the most convenient in the area. Ive stayed in Farmers Branch, Walnut Hill &35, Garland(Jupiter&Kingsley) and Market Center. In most cases, i have to walk about 1/4 mile or more to find a bus stop, but the Market Center hotel and the N central/Fitzhugh (Best Western Cityplace) location are convenient to dart bus.
    Dallas cvb and hotels can and should guide tourists toward attractions that are available via train/tre or bus, instead of sending them to far flung attractions such as those in Grand Prairie/Arlington which may not even be convenient to the TRE train.
    END HIJACK

  48. #398
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    Footing the bill for transit

    Regional authorities facing record-high ridership costs
    Dallas Business Journal - by Margaret Allen Staff writer
    http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas...26/story2.html

    Record levels of ridership for North Texas' public transportation systems are forcing the agencies responsible for operating those services to rethink how they can best meet the demand.

    Although thrilled with the increased number of passengers, growth has meant the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and the Denton County Transportation Authority are being hit with increased costs, both in the form of fuel and extra equipment.

    Fares currently cover only a small portion of mass transit's cost, agency officials say.

    For example, at the "T," which is what Fort Worth's service is called, fares cover 15% of the actual cost, said President and Executive Director Dick Ruddell. At Dallas Area Rapid Transit, fares cover 13% of the cost, said spokesman Morgan Lyons.

    In addition to higher fuel costs, the more riders there are, the more service must be added, officials say.

    For example, for the T's van pool service, the agency operated 144 vans in April 2007. Today it has 166, said Joan Hunter, a spokeswoman for the T.

    The agency has seen increasing demand for vans from the regional administrative office of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which has added 13 van pools in the past 12 months, bringing its total to 20, Hunter said. Bell Helicopter has added 10, for a total of 44, she said.

    The transit agencies must keep a steady stream of new equipment coming on line, DART Chairman Randall Chrisman said, and must also re-route service and equipment as demand shifts from one area to another.

    Although the agencies say they can accommodate the increased demand, they also continually watch the routes to assess demand and re-route to get the biggest bang for the buck.

    Commuters drive growth
    More companies are also taking advantage of mass transit options.

    One of those is Dallas-based Texas Instruments, where about 1,100 of the company's 9,000 local employees ride mass transit to work, according to spokeswoman Gail Chandler, who said the company typically sees a spike in ridership whenever gas prices increase.

    DART, which serves 13 cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, reports that the 10 million people who traveled its system in April were the most ever in its 25-year history.

    "When gas was in the $2 range, people started looking at mass transit, but that's cheap now," Chrisman said. "A lot of times it takes the rising gasoline prices to bring people to DART."

    Compared to the same time a year ago, boardings on the 35-mile Trinity Railway Express between Dallas and Fort Worth are up 17.6%, agency data shows. Ridership on DART's 45-mile light rail system is up 8.7%. Ridership on DART's bus network is up 3.1%, the data shows. DART has 145 carpool vans it supplies to the public, and for a month there's been a waiting list, said Lyons, the DART spokesman. Also, purchases of monthly passes are up 22%, Lyons said.

    Ridership is also up in Fort Worth. The T reported 719,109 passengers in April, up 62,472 people from the same time in 2007, Ruddell said.

    "Clearly the price of gas is one reason more people are taking transit -- both the buses and the train," he said.

    The T's bus ridership is up 7.3%. Fort Worth boardings on the Trinity Railway Express are up 18.4% at the train's 10 stations. Also, use of the T's nine-, 12- and 15-passenger carpool van service is up 20%, Hunter said. In addition, the T has been selling an average of 200 passes a month since January, an increase of 10% to 12%, she said.

    Gas prices spur demand
    In Denton County, ridership is way up on the Denton County Transportation Authority's "Commuter Express," which transports those traveling the longest distance. The service recorded a 40% increase in passengers in April compared to the same month last year, said spokeswoman Kristina Brevard.

    A combination of high fuel prices, some changes in the service and ramped up marketing are driving the growth, Brevard said. The express consists of a fleet of six coach buses, which deliver passengers directly from park-and-ride lots in Denton and Lewisville to eight stops in downtown Dallas, she said.

    "The riders include a lot of corporate executives and medical personnel," Brevard said. For the reverse trip, the buses carry students to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University, she said.

    The authority's "Connect Service" in Denton and Lewisville, which drives local routes around those two cities, has registered an 8% increase, Brevard said.

    The mass transit trend in North Texas is one that's being seen nationally as well.

    The number of people using public transportation in the United States is the highest it's been in 50 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association. In 2007, passenger volume increased 2.1% compared to 2006, said the organization, saying the increase tracks alongside skyrocketing gas prices.

    Record numbers
    The biggest increases are being seen during rush hour, and where passengers face a long commute, such as the Trinity Railway Express route, officials said.

    Stations at the end-points of a long route increasingly see more ridership, Lyons said.

    "You notice it more on the terminal stations -- those are the riders with the longest commutes," Lyons said.

    Although people are moving to public transportation because of the cost of gasoline, they find it convenient, too, Rudell said.

    "The price of gasoline is the single biggest factor, but people wouldn't be using it if it didn't go where they need it to go," he said.



    mallen@bizjournals.com | 214-706-7119

  49. #399
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    Since when does DART re-route service in line with demand on a daily basis? Continuously check but only change every 6-9 months.?

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    I'm not sure I buy whats in this article. It seems half baked and dilluted. I understand some services will become more expensive with the increased demand, they keep refereing to the 15- and 20-person van rides. But for the most part empty buses have been driving around for years. How many times did we hear about the fact that there are not enough riders to break even?
    The way I see it, these buses (and trains) will have to fill up first before 'new services' are designed.
    Already paying for the driver and the gas, where is the extra expense?
    Is Dart just always trying to find something to b!t@# about?
    Last edited by Dbadger; 26 May 2008 at 12:39 AM.

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