I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years and took transit (usually bus) regularly. While you are correct about it's proportion of ridership bus vs rail, the bus system is atrocious. You'd have a hard time finding anyone who uses it regularly describe it as 'World Class'. Other than the Orange Line (BRT that operates as rail), you are a slave to traffic and it takes you FOREVER to get anywhere. Getting from the West San Fernando Valley to Hollywood by bus takes you an hour and half ONE WAY during rush hour if your lucky (only about 16 miles). While the Orange Line (BRT on dedicated ROW) cut this down considerably, it is grossly over crowded and most experts agree this should have been a light rail line. 'Cost-effective' and 'efficient' do NOT come hand in hand and LA is a prime example of this.
I agree that BRT has a place in DFW (probably more so than LA), but it's best use would be outlying areas (Plano, Lewisville, Preston Corridor, etc). But BRT is more closely related to rail systems than it is to traditional bus models. The sprawl and resulting traffic make traditional bus models unworkable in cities like these (LA/DFW).
The issue in Dallas is money. Rail expenses are crowding out the buses, increasingly only making them short range feeders. Frequencies almost never increase and with each change, the time between runs on many runs increases. Hub and spoke is efficient for airlines, not passengers. Same thing applies in transit and people face infrequent bus to rail to infrequent bus to get to destination and then reverse the process on the return.
Under the new fare structure (going in Dec '12), the TRE up to centerpoint station is going to be the same price as local boardings on dart trains/buses. I'm curious how much faster it would be to take TRE from downtown to Centerpoint > shuttle vs Orange line from downtown to beltline > shuttle. I'm willing to bet TRE wins that race hands down.
The existing bus/train arrangements are very good except on Sunday, my main vacation travel day. Still looking forward to shuttle to Belt Line on Sundays. Unfortunately I do not think the trains will make getting to early flights very viable. I would have thought the starting shift at DFW would merit something to arrive by 6 am, but I do not see it in proposed skeds.
Finally DART is about to bring digital ticketing to the DART system!!! THis news item was posted on August the 28th so someone might want to check on what was done at the meeting.
Time table for implementation is mentioned below. Check the actual article for the screenshots of the app that will offer this.“Mobile Ticketing : A first step towards seamless regional fare solutions.” Nevertheless, let me explain: DART’s this close to contracting with Danish software company Unwire to create a mobile ticketing app that will “allow riders to buy tickets at their convenience using a web-enabled mobile phone, avoiding the need to deposit cash into a farebox or use a ticket vending machine,” per the afternoon agenda item.
And DART hopes the cashless solution to rail-riding isn’t too far down the road: According to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons, the revenue committee will sign off on the idea on September 11, when it will also make its bow in front of the Committee-of-the-Whole. Two weeks after that Lyons expects the board will approve the contract with Unwire.
DART still has to get Fort Worth and Denton County on board; the Dallas transit authority expects that’ll happen by no later than December 31. Says Lyons, DART needs its partners to ride along “because we want to maintain a seamless system.”
After that’s done Unwire will begin deployment, which is expected to debut ’round March 2013, with full roll-out finished by October of next year. (Update: Lyons also notes via email that “Phase 1 is selling tickets. That’s by first of March. Phase 2 is where we would bundle it with other items. For example, you could buy a ticket and that day’s DMN with a single purchase.”)
And how will it work? And look? The PowerPoint below reveals all, including sample screenshots of your iPhone or Android come this time next year. The future is now.
Very cool. Great idea going for the optical 2D bar-code. This is something that I'd bet a vast majority of riders phones already support and would be adapted quickly. But, it's good to see an SMS option as well.
I'm willing to bet this will INCREASE ridership... Maybe not to a huge extent, but to an extent none the less.
Saw this on imgur, thought it was funny:
I just saw the digital signs showing time til next train downtown this weekend. This is a huge step in the right direction.
Something I think DART should consider if they haven't already done so...
With the length on the Light Rail system as extensive as it is, it seems the amount of time to get from outlying areas to the core is quite long. In LA's metro, an 'express' train was added to the gold line (from Pasedena to Downtown LA) that eliminated all, but critical stops between the beginning and end of the route. It shaved about 12 minutes off the trip to downtown if I remember correctly.
Should DART consider something similar? Thoughts?
There definitely needs to be express trains (especially to the airport when its open)... does this increase the likelihood of mishaps tho since you'd have to do it with 2 tracks instead of 4? Or am I over complicating it?
The unholy offspring of lightning and Death itself.
There are possible advantages to this concept in Dallas...the question would become what would be the frequency of local service trains and how many connections between trains and/or buses can be made for those needing the local service to get on or off at local stops.
I think as each exurban/suburban transit authority works up routes for local train service, incorporation with the DART Light Rail system must include sharing the cost to build the strategic double-track and/or station bypass allowing express service into Dallas.
The Gold line in LA doesn't share its tracks with any other lines. Every line in Dallas does. Therefore, an express Orange line train leaving DFW just before a normal train won't save much time as falls behind a normal Green line train. And all the lines will get delayed when trying to squeeze an extra express train onto the mall in downtown Dallas.
For an express train to work on DART's light rail system, the lines with express trains need triple tracks, including the downtown mall. Only one station on DART's light rail system has triple tracks and three platforms.
Tragedy on the TRE this morning: a man wasBy 10:00, trains were running normally.“trespassing” on the DART tracks on a train trestle west of the Medical/Market Center Station and was struck by a TRE train traveling westbound at 7:40 a.m. Nearly two hours later, Dallas-Fire Rescue is still working to remove the body from the tracks.
I don't think DART trains on two different lines keep to a schedule tight enough to make express trains work with just that one short bypass track available at Bachman St station. To make express trains work all day long to DFW airport, you have to have express trains running in both directions all day long too. With trains turning at Bachman Station as well, you'll be overloading that short third track. It's only about a third of a mile in length, much too short for normal scheduling allowances. Take a look at DCTA passing sidings lengths for comparison, they're a mile to two miles in length.
Last edited by electricron; 25 October 2012 at 07:40 AM.
Just about every transit agency in the world that runs express trains do so on triple or quadruple tracks. Why is that simple fact so hard to understand? How many times does that fact have to be pointed out just to be ignored later in the same thread over and over again?
I GIVE UP!
If those same trains used to arrive in downtown at 8:45, 9:00, & 9:15, now the express train arrives @ 8:50. That makes it a 25 minute trip compared to 45 minute trip for standard train.
You are right. This has been done before, but no... it doesn't require additional track. I have ridden LA Metro's gold line when going to Hooters in Pasadena. It's a quicker trip, and no additional track is necessary. Anybody who's ridden DART and stopped at stations that have nobody at them knows what benefits an express train can bring. And the fact that in can be accomplished now via schedule adjustments and not infrastructure changes should be open for discussion.
Southbound DART trains at Bachman Station (where the Green and Orange lines join)....
As you can see, the Green precedes the Orange line around 4 to 5 minutes every time. One might think you could make up 10 to 11 minutes by running an express to downtown on the Orange line before catching up to a Green line train. But that's forgetting the northbound Red and Blue line trains join before West End Station.
Here's the same hours at the West End Station heading east.
4 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
3 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
3 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
3 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
3 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
4 minutes gap
4 minutes gap
4 minutes gap
3 minutes gap
5 minutes gap
4 minutes gap
Can you now see there isn't much room to squeeze in another train? And can you see delaying any Orange line train 3 to 5 minutes so it can tranverse the entire Orange line 3 to 5 minutes faster isn't accomplishing much?
There's no practical way to implement your express trains until DART finishes building the D2 corridor through downtown Dallas, because there's no place to put any express trains. My way would be possible, but requires an unaffordable third track on the corridor(s) express trains are desired.
Last edited by electricron; 28 October 2012 at 09:28 PM.
Is not it past time for DART to announce its schedule changes for after 12/3 expansion goes on-line? It is less than one month away. If the info is on the site, I cannot find it. I would think it would give customers at least 30 days notice as bus patrons get pushed on to the expanded rail. I am also interested in the Belt Line plans and how it will use the lot there.
I looked back to the July expansion. DART made the announcements exactly 7 days prior.
I do not really understand the brief time since they have to already have employees scheduled and even done test runs. The printers must have the proofs to print the schedules weeks early. The graphics arts people have to install the new signs. The IT people have to get the network ready. Everybody knows but the customer.
At some point, DART will flush all the managers good at wearing the white construction helmets and get some people there that know how to run a customer focused business.
New bus and rail schedules are available. Schedule is to meet each Orange and Green line at respective Belt Line and Inwood Stations with new buses 500 and and 524. Earliest arrival at DFW looks to be 4:19 AM out of West End getting to Belt Line at 5:01 with arrival at DFW A at 5:27. Probably earliest flight out you could make is 6:30 AM. Earliest Love Field is leave West End at 5:02, Bus to Love Field at 5:18 arrive coincidentally at same time as DFW, 5:27. Earliest flight is likely 6:30 AM. Late night and weekends look good. $7 to park at Belt Line overnight. Commuters in jurisdiction can park free. You might be able to catch AAC event if downtown worker and get back before 17 hour limit expires.
DART investigates potential station naming rights profit:
For more than a year Dallas Area Rapid Transit has contemplated selling the naming rights to its transit stations. It’s a cash-generating concept — from Philadelphia to Cleveland and San Diego to Phoenix for starters. And other cities, chief among them Boston, are looking to hop aboard that gravy train. So why not do it Dallas? Well, because DART General Counsel Hyattye O. Simmons told the DART board in August 2011 that doing so would violate the transit authority’s renaming policy, which, Simmons said, “excludes the use of business names, product names, and personal names unless the name is also a street name or a well-known destination.” That’s why not.
Except that’s not stopping DART: Tomorrow, as you’ll see in the docs below, its Revenue Committee will vote on hiring Cleveland-based The Superlative Group to market DART’s station naming rights and other corporate sponsorship opportunities. That means selling the naming rights to light-rail lines and bus routes. So you could have, say, the Big Red Line. Or Bus Route Formula 409. Or not. Let’s just say: DART’s looking to make some green off the Green Line and leave it at that.
The Superlative Group — whose contract with DART is worth $99,483 for consulting services, plus 9.5 percent of new generated revenues — would prefer to keep quiet till the ink’s dry on the contract, which will take a few weeks as it passes through the Committee-of-the-Whole and the full board. So, instead, we turn to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons, who says the board figured it was about time to see what kind of revenue’s out there.
“And it’s not always as obvious as we might think,” he says. “Jerry Jones still hasn’t sold the naming rights to Cowboys Stadium, after all. The first part will be to figure out what’s available, what could we sell the naming rights to — and for how much. We think we have some assets, so we’ll see how this plays out.”
Far as The Atlantic‘s concerned, this is a bad idea. Lyons says wait and see: He expects the process will take about a year to play out.
Additionally, last Friday I landed on a train that had numerous video screens in place on it, but, weren't turned on. So far, 0 for 1 this week. Chime in if/when you see them in action.
Originally Posted by mjblazin
Submedia fabricates and installs (at no cost to the host city) the display boxes and advertising placements. The company earns its revenue from advertising charges and shares that with the host transit authority.
Get real! If this idea could realistically fly, it would have already been implemented, or at least many advertisers would have been clamoring for such in DART's tunnels. The fact they haven't been speaks far more truth to me.
^ Some of the DART rail vehicles do carry advertising on the outsides now, similar to DART's buses.
New DART bus service to provide direct link to D/FW, Love Field airports
By TOM BENNING Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 21 November 2012 08:02 PM
Travelers longing for a DART connection to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport can soon print their boarding passes.
And just in time for next month’s holiday travel madness.
A DART rail stop at the airport is still a couple of years away, but on Dec. 3, the transit agency is starting direct bus service to D/FW’s Terminal A from both the Orange Line’s new Belt Line Station in Irving and the Trinity Railway Express’ CentrePort station in Fort Worth.
The Belt Line Station, debuting that day as part of DART’s expansion of the Orange Line, will also feature up to 200 spots for long-term paid parking, which the agency included with air travelers in mind.
All that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the airport connector, a 15-minute bus ride to the terminal from the Belt Line Station, will mean a quicker trip than fighting the traffic on state highways 183 or 114.
But DART officials hope the bus service — which will cost $2.50 one way, with parking for as little as $7 a day — will provide a cheaper alternative to leaving a car at D/FW.
And the agency is confident that the buses will provide a more convenient option than riding the current public transportation option, which is a journey involving multiple connections, or arranging to get rides from friends or family.
“The target is going to be the business traveler, quick-trip traveler,” DART spokesman Mark Ball said. “But there’s big potential for more.”
DART is also launching a new direct bus service Dec. 3 to Dallas Love Field from the Orange Line’s Inwood Station, although there’s already a conventional bus line that serves the same purpose.
Both new connectors, which together will cost DART about $2.5 million a year to operate, will feature smaller, 17-passenger vehicles. The buses will be outfitted with an area to store luggage, and lower floors to aid travelers carrying bags.
The bus lines will sync with the Orange Line’s schedule — running every 15 minutes during peak periods — to allow for more seamless travel. The connector linking with the TRE’s CentrePort station won’t match perfectly, although officials said buses will be plentiful.
And both the D/FW and Love Field lines will require the standard DART system fare, which will increase on Dec. 3 to $2.50 for single rides or $5 for a day pass.
The new D/FW connector could be especially popular with travelers, given that DART’s only public transportation alternative involves riding a train, transferring to the TRE, getting off at the CentrePort station and then taking two free shuttle buses to reach a terminal.
DART’s early projections are that more than 1,000 people will use the new D/FW bus line each day.
Part of that optimism comes from the paid parking option at the Belt Line Station, which DART officials predict will be popular with airport employees and those going on trips.
Daily parking will be free for residents of DART-member cities, while it will cost $2 for everyone else.
Long-term parking for residents of a DART-member city will cost $7 a day, although those users will have to get a sticker that proves their residency. For all others, parking for more than 18 hours will cost $9 a day.
By comparison, long-term parking at D/FW’s remote lots costs $8 a day, and that rate increases to $20 a day for spots closest to the terminals.
“There are people who drive who don’t want to get in the traffic area of the airport,” said Todd Plesko, DART’s vice president of planning and development. “So there’s a real market here in Dallas for that. … We have something unique for people who want alternative airport parking.”
Interviews with several travelers at D/FW this week indicated that it might take some time for the new service catch on.
Many arriving and departing are from out of town. Even more are from parts of North Texas where it’s not as convenient to ride DART or park on the eastern side of the airport.
But at least a couple of people, as they waited for someone to pick them up outside Terminal A, said they wouldn’t mind another way to get to and from D/FW.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve never set foot on DART,” said Marilyn Hodges, a Dallas resident who lamented the heavy traffic surrounding the airport. “But that would be a great option.”
Follow Tom Benning on Twitter at @tombenning.
Centreport users should be aware buses will be timed to meet Belt Line trains and will have fixed times at Centreport. TRE users might now be used to having buses there on arrival. Benefit is you now bypass DFW Remote South. System also relies that you have boarding pass and will enter security with carry on at Terminal A. If you are one of the 12% (the few, the proud, the brave) at DFW that do not use AA, and need to check bags, you will have to use the Terminal Link buses to get to your terminal, probably E.
Hey all. Haven't been on this forum in a few years and sorry for the bump, but there's some little thing about today's DART service change, especially regarding Cityplace station and bus route 521 that has bothered me all day. Not to mention the fact that I normally stay at Best western Cityplace on Fitzhugh whenever I visit.
Thing that has always baffled me about Dallas in general: why is it when an area achieves a good population density, but then DART later decides to either reduce frequency of service on any given route, or totally obliterates it. What are the demographics like? Not that it's a contributing factor. But in curious. No one likes buses? Or is it like the Uptown where there are wealthier folks that either don't use them or loathe seeing DART buses on their streets? Again not suggesting a correlation, only curious. Thanks.
Unfortunately, the economics can't support the low ridership here. One thing I have noticed lately is a big increase in the use of short busses by DART. This is a good step, but not likely to have much impact in the long run.
My two cents...
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