The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


New D-Link Trolley service ‘DARTs’ around the Big D

Ever wonder how to get from Oak Cliff to the Dallas Arts District without having to hail a cab or get in a car? Look no further: the D-Link Trolley provides a public transportation route that has never existed before. This brand new D-Link is free service that the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) launched on Nov. 4, 2013 that lets Dallas residents explore the districts of Dallas for free.

Sponsored by the DART, Downtown Dallas, Inc. and the City of Dallas, the circulator route links such downtown destinations as the American Airlines Center, Klyde Warren Park, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Arts District, Main Street hotels and restaurants, Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

After only launching the D-Link five short weeks ago, the D-Link has seen success so far.

Vice President of Public Safety of Downtown Dallas Inc Martin Cramer says, “D-Link has been received very well, especially as a quick way to do lunch in Bishop Arts.”

Director of DART Media Relations Mark A. Ball says, “For the first three weeks of service, we are averaging just under 400 per day on weekdays and under 600 on Saturdays. The 16th of November was the busiest day with 833 riders.”

Ball anticipates seeing more ridership after the winter season is over and once there is warmer weather in 2014. He says that the D-Link stemmed from a series of cooperative discussions that lasted two years.

“The various partners felt there was a need for circulator service in the central part of Dallas, and while work goes forward on expansion of streetcar service in the area, a rubber-tired alternative can be implemented far more quickly,” Ball said, who does service planning and scheduling for DART. “It serves several potential markets: visitors to Dallas, the growing number of people living in central Dallas, and area residents traveling downtown to shop, play, or take advantage of other opportunities in the area.”

Ball says that new branded buses and bus stops are in operation and customers and Dallas residents are now learning about the new service and what it has to offer.

Marketing Director for Downtown Dallas, Inc Shalissa Colwell says that the trolley is a two-year pilot program.

“As Downtown Dallas is made up of 15 unique districts, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for visitors, office workers and residents to explore all that Downtown has to offer,” Colwell said. “The concept and branding have been very well received from the stakeholders involved along the route.”

D-Link is designed to supplement other current transit services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including the DART System, Trinity Railway Express and Amtrak. While the DART rail transports people downtown, the D-Link is designed to take people right to their destination.

“This circulator represents another advance in our ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown and provides a much-needed link to southern Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “I am excited about the potential of new stops being added in the future as our city continues to grow south.”

The new D-Link is a free service, so college students on a budget can take advantage and enjoy the new mode of transportation. And no one can miss the bright magenta and yellow colors of the trolley that has been rolling around town for the past month!

The D-Link buses are part of the DART route 722 bus and the new shuttle is a hop-on, hop-off service which runs every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Monday through Saturday.

The full ride is about 45 minutes long, with nearly 70 stops along the way.

Other transportation projects in Dallas, such as the Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar and the M-Line Urban Circulator, will be completed by 2015 and the D-Link will adapt to accommodate these new projects.

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