Dallas Area Rapid Transit: Policy and Implementation

Shelly Zhu

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system is the city of Dallas’ claim to fame in terms of public transportation. After 30 years of service and $400 million in sales tax collected just last year, Texas’ most ambitions experiment with public transit entered a new era this year with a system expansion making DART the largest light-rail system in the United States.

Despite the system’s numerous superlatives, it still does not do much for persuading significant numbers of Dallas drivers to park their cars or relieve the serious congestion on the region’s highways. The 2030 plan’s line expansion was projected to serve approximately 15,000 round-trip passengers a day, but that’s only a small fraction of the region’s daily traffic. So while DART has the largest light-rail system in the country, its effectiveness has been hampered by a simultaneous population growth in the suburbs and cities just outside its current service area.1…

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