Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 12 Dec 2018 06:50

Cmacemm wrote:Every holiday season, the CTA has a holiday train that runs on different lines up until Christmas that has a Santa car and an elves workshop car. It would be cool to see DART do something similar to help boost some holiday season ridership

"Today the cost to the CTA to run the train is minimal. Decorations are reused from year to year or donated by CTA employees. As the trains run regular service, most workers are either on their regular schedules or volunteering their time."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CTA_Holiday_Train

There are already three Christmas charities in the DFW area, all of them concentrating on collecting toys, Salvation Army’s Angel Tree at almost every shopping mall, Marines’ Toys for Tots drive using motorcycles, and Channel 8 Santa’s Helpers with the two largest groceries stores in the metro participating. I think DFW has Christmas covered without DART having to do anything special.

Just because a transit agency somewhere else does something special does not mean DART should too. I disagree with DART doing something to look good just to increase ridership as your main goal misses the whole purpose of this holiday. I believe most of us can and will see it as gimmick. Most transit agencies with Christmas “train” events collerbrate with the Marines’ Toys for Tots - and in DFW area the motorcycle ride between Dallas and Fort Worth already steals the show. A mile or two long motorcycle parade is a very, very impressive sight.

I am personally tired of reading transplanted non-native Texans proposing solutions from elsewhere to problems that do not exist here. Texans are not stupid, we have developed our own traditions and solutions to problems. We do not want Texas, and specifically Dallas and Fort Worth, to turn Into Chicago, NYC, or LA.

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Haretip
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Haretip » 12 Dec 2018 08:48

Image
“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” - Jebediah Springfield

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 12 Dec 2018 08:56

electricron wrote:I am personally tired of reading transplanted non-native Texans proposing solutions from elsewhere to problems that do not exist here. Texans are not stupid, we have developed our own traditions and solutions to problems. We do not want Texas, and specifically Dallas and Fort Worth, to turn Into Chicago, NYC, or LA.


Calm down Gramps.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 12 Dec 2018 10:27

For a while, the TRE ran a handful of special holiday trains with Christmas lights, decals, and a Santa on board. They don't seem to be doing it this year, but I found a schedule from 2013 indicating that Santa would be aboard 3 runs each direction.

https://www.dart.org/images/tre/2013TRE ... hedule.pdf

So it's not a new idea to the metroplex, and honestly the TRE is the place to have special holiday themed trains. Longer trips, more space, and fewer drunks on the TRE.

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Haretip
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Haretip » 12 Dec 2018 12:02

The M-LINE Streetcar has a Holiday Express and just announced today that they have added an additional run. The streetcars are frequently decorated for the holidays (although 636 was not when I operated last Saturday).
“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” - Jebediah Springfield

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 12 Dec 2018 12:14

Haretip wrote:The M-LINE Streetcar has a Holiday Express and just announced today that they have added an additional run. The streetcars are frequently decorated for the holidays (although 636 was not when I operated last Saturday).


SEPTA trollies and Buses do the same thing in Philly.

lakewoodhobo
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby lakewoodhobo » 12 Dec 2018 17:53

Noticed these screens today at West End. The live video feed zooms in on people as they walk by in real-time to drive the message that you’re being watched. Creepy AF but desperate times...

E8796E9A-3C3C-4221-9029-C32C29D5EF01.jpeg
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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 13 Dec 2018 09:32

lakewoodhobo wrote:Noticed these screens today at West End. The live video feed zooms in on people as they walk by to drive the message that you’re being watched. Creepy AF but desperate times...

E8796E9A-3C3C-4221-9029-C32C29D5EF01.jpeg


The only difference is that now we know that the cameras at West End actually work...

If/when D2 happens, I recall a DART planner telling me that the underground stations would have turnstyles to limit loitering, mainly because of the West End issue. With the bulk of the rest of the system still being proof of payment, people could still find their way in from outlying stations (they'd just have to get to CityPlace, Baylor, or Museum Way to avoid a fare barrier on the Orange or Green lines)

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 14 Dec 2018 01:11

electricron wrote:I am personally tired of reading transplanted non-native Texans proposing solutions from elsewhere to problems that do not exist here. Texans are not stupid, we have developed our own traditions and solutions to problems. We do not want Texas, and specifically Dallas and Fort Worth, to turn Into Chicago, NYC, or LA.


Lol well that took an unexpected turn.

But yes, holiday trains are dumb. Particularly if they're thought of as a ridership driver.

Real-talk though, the unwillingness of US transit operators to look overseas for best practices (real, operational best practices, not these kind of gimmicks) is a significant part of the reason why US transit provision is so bad.

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Tucy
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tucy » 14 Dec 2018 01:20

tanzoak wrote:
Real-talk though, the unwillingness of US transit operators to look overseas for best practices (real, operational best practices, not these kind of gimmicks) is a significant part of the reason why US transit provision is so bad.


What operational practices should we import from overseas?

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 14 Dec 2018 07:40

One beautiful reality for all the Sunbelt Cities is the opportunity to learn from longer-established communities like New York, Chicago, "overseas" and adapt successful high density living processes into the new new world. The opportunity to adapt the most beneficial systems. Scale these things to the climate and there you have it. First thing that's got to go, though, is air pollution. Looking as Los Angeles is critical.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 14 Dec 2018 20:29

tanzoak wrote:Lol well that took an unexpected turn.

But yes, holiday trains are dumb. Particularly if they're thought of as a ridership driver.

Real-talk though, the unwillingness of US transit operators to look overseas for best practices (real, operational best practices, not these kind of gimmicks) is a significant part of the reason why US transit provision is so bad.

I’m not against looking at how others solve real problems to find solutions to ours. But these solutions from elsewhere will need a local Texas twist to make them valid here. Texans are capable of finding their own solutions to our problems. Hughes Tool Company, Texas Instruments, and Southwest Airlines became hugely successful with home grown Texas solutions

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 16 Dec 2018 15:21

Tucy wrote:
tanzoak wrote:
Real-talk though, the unwillingness of US transit operators to look overseas for best practices (real, operational best practices, not these kind of gimmicks) is a significant part of the reason why US transit provision is so bad.


What operational practices should we import from overseas?


One of the most glaring inadequacies, particularly relevant for a place like Dallas with lower frequencies, is bus-rail timed connections. US transit agencies typically set those schedules completely separately from each other under the impression that they serve different groups with little overlap. That idea becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy when you unnecessarily add 10+ minutes to travel times for trips that would use multiple modes.

Another one very relevant to Dallas (though perhaps might be considered more "planning" than ops) is designated transit lanes (particularly for streetcars!). It's strange that this is not adopted in the US considering its generally much wider streets offer the ability to provide these designated lanes while still providing ample space for private vehicles.

Another biggie is doing away with the concept of "commuter rail" and instead providing frequent all-day service with regional rail. Providing peak capacity is the big cost driver--that's what determines the number of trains (or buses) you need to buy and the number of operators you need to hire. Off-peak service, by contrast, is fairly cheap; you're just using the trains and operators you're already paying for instead of having them sit idle.

All-door boarding for buses and streetcars is another good one, as is providing boarding islands.

There are others, but I feel like this is a good start. Some of these concepts have slowly been making their way into the consciousnesses of a few US transit agencies over the past five years, but for the most part they are not even considered, despite being pretty standard for decades elsewhere. It's tough to make headway when most transit agencies hire from within, meaning decision-makers aren't learning from outside experiences, and it's generally difficult to hire foreign consultants even if so desired.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 16 Dec 2018 15:46

electricron wrote:I’m not against looking at how others solve real problems to find solutions to ours. But these solutions from elsewhere will need a local Texas twist to make them valid here. Texans are capable of finding their own solutions to our problems. Hughes Tool Company, Texas Instruments, and Southwest Airlines became hugely successful with home grown Texas solutions


Much like a ground-breaking artist needs to understand the fundamentals of their craft before they can successfully transgress those forms, I would want to see a transit agency show some sort of competency in basic service provision before trusting them with some sort of innovative solution that goes against basic tenets of good transit.

Nothing about DART's record suggests they understand how to provide a useful service, and they seem to take the German transit planning slogan "Organization before electronics before concrete" and turn it on its head, going about Build Build Building just for the sake of laying track.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 17 Dec 2018 14:16

tanzoak wrote:One of the most glaring inadequacies, particularly relevant for a place like Dallas with lower frequencies, is bus-rail timed connections. US transit agencies typically set those schedules completely separately from each other under the impression that they serve different groups with little overlap. That idea becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy when you unnecessarily add 10+ minutes to travel times for trips that would use multiple modes.

Bus route times are notoriously variable, so even the best-timed connections can be messed up when a bus is held up in traffic. That's not a huge deal if there's another bus/train 5-10 minutes later, but a good chunk of DART bus routes only operate every 30-60 minutes as you mention. In my experience, buses serving rail stations are typically scheduled with enough dwell time to arrive before and leave after at least one train in one direction, but obviously that doesn't account for all directions/lines, or the time it takes to get from platform to bus bay.

Of course, DART also inexplicably sequences the LRT lines through downtown such that Blue comes after Red, and Green after Orange. This means the stations inside the Mockingbird-8th&Corinth-Bachman loop get two trains 3-5 minutes apart, then nothing for 12-15 minutes. splitting the difference would at least shorten connection times by "splitting the difference" for riders using those closer-in stations.
tanzoak wrote:Another one very relevant to Dallas (though perhaps might be considered more "planning" than ops) is designated transit lanes (particularly for streetcars!). It's strange that this is not adopted in the US considering its generally much wider streets offer the ability to provide these designated lanes while still providing ample space for private vehicles.


Unless they're dedicated transit lanes (fully separated from traffic), there's a significant enforcement requirement, plus tow trucks for keeping any shared streetcar lanes clear of parked or broken down cars. I've never seen DART or DPD patrol the bus lanes along Harry Hines, and of course cars try to turn on to the transit mall all of the time. As much as I'd like to see more dedicated transit lanes and harsher penalties for drivers who interfere with those lanes, I don't see that happening here in Texas. There'd be kooks getting interviewed on the local news with ridiculous claims that they're "banning cars," then the situation would be made worse by D Mag types saying "actually, yes, we should ban cars" and the whole proposal would get tossed out in the uproar. It's the Dallas Way...

tanzoak wrote:Another biggie is doing away with the concept of "commuter rail" and instead providing frequent all-day service with regional rail. Providing peak capacity is the big cost driver--that's what determines the number of trains (or buses) you need to buy and the number of operators you need to hire. Off-peak service, by contrast, is fairly cheap; you're just using the trains and operators you're already paying for instead of having them sit idle.


Part of the reason for off-peak schedules is to allow for maintenance, inspections, and cleaning. If you run the same service all day, you need extra spare trains or mechanics working overnight shifts to keep things running smoothly. As for the operators, they're hourly (and Union), so the operating costs are the same (or higher, if operators are working overtime to fulfill the schedule).

As far as the commuter lines, part of the O&M costs are funded by freight railroads using it when passenger trains aren't running peak service. DART is also obliged by law to keep old railroad ROW that serves existing freight customers available for freight movements, and they meet that by allowing DGNO to move trains during off-peak times.

tanzoak wrote:All-door boarding for buses and streetcars is another good one, as is providing boarding islands.


All-door boarding on trains is already a thing here, but I've never seen enough of a line to board buses to merit the additional fare evasion rear-door bus boarding would create.

tanzoak wrote:There are others, but I feel like this is a good start. Some of these concepts have slowly been making their way into the consciousnesses of a few US transit agencies over the past five years, but for the most part they are not even considered, despite being pretty standard for decades elsewhere. It's tough to make headway when most transit agencies hire from within, meaning decision-makers aren't learning from outside experiences, and it's generally difficult to hire foreign consultants even if so desired.


DART adopted the tap card concept pioneered in London and used in Chicago, the Bay area, Seattle, etc.. but it took forever to roll out and only came 4 years after rolling out a mobile app that is inferior from a ticketing & fare enforcement perspective. People get super excited about having a phone app for everything, but just about every time I see a fare inspector on the train, they're listening to someone's tall tale about how they really tried to buy a ticket on the app but their card didn't work, or they thought they activated the pass, or didn't know it wasn't already activated, their phone died, etc. The Tap card is what they should have rolled out back in 2014, and limited the app to trip planning, account management, etc.

As for hiring new talent, I think DART is hamstrung by a lot of factors common to public agencies, and hiring from within is the path of least resistance. If they went out and poached well respected ops and planning staff from other agencies, they'd catch flak for paying the high salaries needed to convince someone to leave a well-run system to come here.

There's also the issue of the board composition- the vast majority of the service area is suburban, and even though the bulk of Dallas is itself suburban sprawl, Dallas' board members have been directed to vote as if they only represent the interests of Downtown and specific (read: wealthy) close in neighborhoods. Even if DART were able to poach some operations gurus from the CTA, they'd get henpecked to death for trying to replicate the sort of bus system that serves the areas where transit dependent populations live because that would be "putting the interests of suburbs ahead of Dallas" according to the mental giants Dallas has appointed to the board.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 18 Dec 2018 01:41

TNWE wrote:Bus route times are notoriously variable, so even the best-timed connections can be messed up when a bus is held up in traffic.


It's all connected. Buses shouldn't be held up in traffic because they should have their own lanes anywhere congestion might significantly impact service.

Enforcement is actually not difficult at all. You just put enforcement cameras on the front of buses. I've gotten ticketed this way before, and it has been very effective in ensuring that I never again block a bus.

TNWE wrote:Unless they're dedicated transit lanes (fully separated from traffic), there's a significant enforcement requirement, plus tow trucks for keeping any shared streetcar lanes clear of parked or broken down cars.


See above, and that's why streetcars should *never* share lanes. A mixed-traffic streetcar is worse than a bus.

TNWE wrote:Part of the reason for off-peak schedules is to allow for maintenance, inspections, and cleaning. If you run the same service all day, you need extra spare trains or mechanics working overnight shifts to keep things running smoothly.


When I talk about "commuter rail", I'm not referring to a 15 min peak / 20 min off-peak service pattern, I mean the 15 min peak / 60+ min off-peak service patterns of the LIRR, MNR, MBTA, Metra, Caltrain (for now), SEPTA, etc.

Caltrain, fwiw, is transitioning away from that low ridership model into legit regional rail, and has retained Deutsche Bahn to do service planning and operational analysis and an Anglo-Canadian firm that specializes in this kind of work to do the business modeling. This type of learning from the outside world is rare, however.

TNWE wrote:All-door boarding on trains is already a thing here, but I've never seen enough of a line to board buses to merit the additional fare evasion rear-door bus boarding would create.


This comment wasn't a Dallas-specific one, and I agree it's probably not an issue in Dallas. But it's a huge one in NYC and other places with significant bus ridership (as Dallas should aspire to be!). As for fare evasion, Muni (SF) has all-door boarding, and I infrequently see people failing to tap in.

TNWE wrote:As for hiring new talent, I think DART is hamstrung by a lot of factors common to public agencies, and hiring from within is the path of least resistance. If they went out and poached well respected ops and planning staff from other agencies, they'd catch flak for paying the high salaries needed to convince someone to leave a well-run system to come here.


One of my points is that US transit agencies choose this inertia of going with the same failed and ineffective strategies that they know rather than seeking out new ways to improve from outside. This doesn't have to come in the form of permanent hires. Ultimately, what's more expensive a couple million for a comprehensive business plan developed by top industry experts, or another billion-dollar boondoggle that comes out of blindly stumbling around for something to do? Organization before electronics before concrete!

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Cmacemm
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cmacemm » 19 Dec 2018 13:22

electricron wrote:
Cmacemm wrote:Every holiday season, the CTA has a holiday train that runs on different lines up until Christmas that has a Santa car and an elves workshop car. It would be cool to see DART do something similar to help boost some holiday season ridership

"Today the cost to the CTA to run the train is minimal. Decorations are reused from year to year or donated by CTA employees. As the trains run regular service, most workers are either on their regular schedules or volunteering their time."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CTA_Holiday_Train

There are already three Christmas charities in the DFW area, all of them concentrating on collecting toys, Salvation Army’s Angel Tree at almost every shopping mall, Marines’ Toys for Tots drive using motorcycles, and Channel 8 Santa’s Helpers with the two largest groceries stores in the metro participating. I think DFW has Christmas covered without DART having to do anything special.

Just because a transit agency somewhere else does something special does not mean DART should too. I disagree with DART doing something to look good just to increase ridership as your main goal misses the whole purpose of this holiday. I believe most of us can and will see it as gimmick. Most transit agencies with Christmas “train” events collerbrate with the Marines’ Toys for Tots - and in DFW area the motorcycle ride between Dallas and Fort Worth already steals the show. A mile or two long motorcycle parade is a very, very impressive sight.

I am personally tired of reading transplanted non-native Texans proposing solutions from elsewhere to problems that do not exist here. Texans are not stupid, we have developed our own traditions and solutions to problems. We do not want Texas, and specifically Dallas and Fort Worth, to turn Into Chicago, NYC, or LA.


I’m a native Texan by the way

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby I45Tex » 22 Dec 2018 13:07

Matt777 wrote:Yeah, if the station truly is already "dug out" and just needs finishing and elevators and such, it shouldn't be too much. There's no need to make it fancy. It it's a concrete shell, commission artists to make it interesting on the cheap. Murals, neon, sculpture, etc. Maybe a water feature. Done.


I haven't read everything on the Forum about this by a long shot, but I think about the heavy metal plate that public utility workers sometimes put temporarily over small excavations in roadways, and could the "active train tracks" making work OSHA-unsafe in Knox-Henderson cavern 20 hrs. a day ever simply be sequestered under two rows of similar gauge plate?

Imagine them bent into a U shape, turned upside down, set edge to edge, and then all bolted to running girders to keep them from shifting if construction workers hit them.
Perhaps a bit of an obstacle but their separation of the space, with their resulting adjustment in cost of labor to finish the station, might bring the job finally within monetary reach of some Knox-Henderson TIF or Business Improvement District, so they could negotiate to bypass DART funding timelines.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 10 Jan 2019 12:05

Saw this nugget buried in a DART rail replacement project overview on slide 8
(https://www.dart.org/about/board/boardagendas/constructionitem2_08jan19.pdf):

Replacement of the rail will eliminate the ongoing maintenance issues, regauge the rail throughout the CBD, eliminating the use of transition rails, and align with the arrival of new vehicles scheduled for 2024


Looks like DART is planning on procuring new LRT vehicles around the time the first deliveries hit 30 years old. The current ones don't strike me as partucularly dated (By rail transit standards, 30 years is young compared to some of the stock running in other cities) but the current stock has a very tiny portion of low-floor area compared to most other LRT systems in North America.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 10 Jan 2019 12:20

I hope they reconfigure the seating. Let people face each other rather than having ailes. rows require people having to excuse one another when getting up to leave or sitting down. Most rail systems aren't designed like this for that very reason.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 10 Jan 2019 12:24

TNWE wrote:but the current stock has a very tiny portion of low-floor area compared to most other LRT systems in North America.


As someone who rarely rides the DART, I do hope they address this with the newest trains. I'm sure frequent DART riders would disagree with me, as the current trains offer a lot more seating than most other LRT systems, but, going forward, if we plan to grow the system, we definitely need to accommodate with more standing room.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 10 Jan 2019 13:13

DPatel304 wrote:
TNWE wrote:but the current stock has a very tiny portion of low-floor area compared to most other LRT systems in North America.


As someone who rarely rides the DART, I do hope they address this with the newest trains. I'm sure frequent DART riders would disagree with me, as the current trains offer a lot more seating than most other LRT systems, but, going forward, if we plan to grow the system, we definitely need to accommodate with more standing room.


Seattle and Phoenix both use newer-generation light rail trains built by the same company that built DART's trains- they have high floor sections at the ends with seating like current DART cars, but much larger low floor area with transverse flip-up seats opposite of the traditional seating, making a wider aisle. I have no idea if there's a newer generation of LRT vehicles that has 100% of seats facing each other with standing room in the middle like the Chicago/NY Subway cars.

Image

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby lakewoodhobo » 10 Jan 2019 14:16

As long as they replace those rolling translucent signs on the trains with digital screens, I'll be happy. Can't tell you how many trains I've seen with several colors plus "not in service" displayed all at once.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 11 Jan 2019 08:42

I'm also not much a fan of the cloth 'padding' on the seats. I realize its considered a bit of a luxury item, but it always seems a bit ikky to me (okay, yes... I'm a little OCD). Who knows what has been spilled there previously? I'd love for a long, uniform piece of stainless steel running the length of each side of the car, allowing standing room in the middle, that receives a healthy (er.. maybe unhealthy) dose of disinfectant nightly.
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 11 Jan 2019 09:01

muncien wrote:I'm also not much a fan of the cloth 'padding' on the seats. I realize its considered a bit of a luxury item, but it always seems a bit ikky to me (okay, yes... I'm a little OCD). Who knows what has been spilled there previously? I'd love for a long, uniform piece of stainless steel running the length of each side of the car, allowing standing room in the middle, that receives a healthy (er.. maybe unhealthy) dose of disinfectant nightly.


Cloth seats are on the way out as well: https://www.dart.org/about/inmotion/winter18/1.asp

Supposedly there's a bus and train out in the wild with vinyl-covered seats, but I haven't encountered it.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 11 Jan 2019 09:15

^^^
Great news all around! Thx for the info.
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Cbdallas
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cbdallas » 11 Jan 2019 14:29

Back sweat.

itsjrd1964
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby itsjrd1964 » 11 Jan 2019 22:18

Image

I was on a bus not too long ago that had a few (not all) of the seats redone in this blue color. You can't tell from the picture, but there is a bit of texture in the vinyl, it's not shiny-smooth. I guess it'll be easier to tell if someone has spilled something (??) on the seat before you get to it, compared to the fabric that's been used up to now.

The agency purchased 41 buses, which will arrive in mid-2019 from its supplier, New Flyer to expand the fleet. These new buses will come equipped with vinyl-covered seats.


I didn't realize there would be more buses coming. That'll be nice. There's been trouble with the fold-out ramps used for handicapped riders, and various outages among some of the exterior LED bus route displays as well.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 12 Jan 2019 00:11

itsjrd1964 wrote:Image

I was on a bus not too long ago that had a few (not all) of the seats redone in this blue color. You can't tell from the picture, but there is a bit of texture in the vinyl, it's not shiny-smooth. I guess it'll be easier to tell if someone has spilled something (??) on the seat before you get to it, compared to the fabric that's been used up to now.

The agency purchased 41 buses, which will arrive in mid-2019 from its supplier, New Flyer to expand the fleet. These new buses will come equipped with vinyl-covered seats.


I didn't realize there would be more buses coming. That'll be nice. There's been trouble with the fold-out ramps used for handicapped riders, and various outages among some of the exterior LED bus route displays as well.


San Jose has vinyl seats on their LRT, and it's definitely apparent when someone has, uh, left something on the seat :shock:

Years ago, when I first started commuting via DART, I had a coworker who learned about that the hard way, so now I always check to see that the seat is at least dry before sitting down.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 31 Jan 2019 08:25

One of the most critical aspects of train service to DFW airport is travel time to the central business districts that's at least as quick as travel by car, and potentially quicker during peak commuter traffic. But is that even a goal of DART or Trinity Metro? Express trains that go from Union Station and FW ITC to DFW in 30 minutes, that's what I'm talking about.

Business travel is the bread and butter of airports & carriers and high concentration of office workers is the foundation of a central business district. Building passenger rail service so the trip from airport to downtown office is considered walking distance should be a mandate of regional transit.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 31 Jan 2019 10:17

DART seems to be built for those who have no choice instead of trying to serve the area population as a whole. I'm not suggesting that it's a bad objective as it does provide an option to those who have no other option. But when you do that, you have little motivation for providing 'better' service. Kinda like the DMV...
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 31 Jan 2019 11:39

muncien wrote:DART seems to be built for those who have no choice instead of trying to serve the area population as a whole. I'm not suggesting that it's a bad objective as it does provide an option to those who have no other option. But when you do that, you have little motivation for providing 'better' service. Kinda like the DMV...


Isn't that true of most every mass transit system, though? To first and foremost provide mobility for those who can't afford any other alternative? If the primary goal of DART were to provide rapid airport <--> downtown trips for business travelers, there's no justification for their continued 1% sales tax and they should change to a commercial model where fares & advertising cover 100% of the running cost.

Obviously, improving frequency, connectivity, and coverage helps all riders, and if DART had some mechanism to charge extra for "Express" services (say, charge $15 and split the difference between the usual DART fare and an Uber ride Downtown <--> DFW), I could see a justification for the capital and operational expenditure required for airport express service. But absent a big uplift in revenue from riders who can afford to pay more, that would come at the expense of the additional buses and drivers required for the bus network overhaul. As it stands, there isn't any excess capacity in the bus fleet to improve frequency unless you cut all routes outside of Loop 12 back to hourly service, but that would screw over the people most dependent on DART so a handful of rich, white, 30-somethings with downtown lofts can play pretend that they live in a "real" city.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 31 Jan 2019 12:44

Well, that turned divisive quickly...

A couple of things...
I don't buy that providing mobility to those who can't afford it is the "first and foremost" goal of most transit systems. In fact, outside of the states, I don't know any sizable transit agency that has this as their number one goal. In the U.S., it happens to be a high priority, but even here it probably won't be first goal of most transit agencies.

In fact, using public services such as transportation as some sort of economic leveling tool doesn't fix the problem, and in some ways exacerbates it. This kind of thinking is what reinforces economic disparities in communities and creates a stigma about transit.

The most important role of public transit, and the primary goal across the globe generally, is to move as many people as possible, as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, we don't typically look at transportation as a whole, and instead we have automobile based agencies that look at the most efficient way to move the most people by car, while we have transit agencies focusing on those who have no choice.

Instead, a more holistic transit solution would incorporate both practices by putting more emphasis on the one which better suits given service areas. In other words, less lanes on I30 around the loop, and more transit coverage. Less buses on spread out suburban side streets, and more frequency on core thoroughfares.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 31 Jan 2019 12:54

tamtagon wrote:Building passenger rail service so the trip from airport to downtown office is considered walking distance should be a mandate of regional transit.


Totally off target.

- I think you'll find that the vast majority of business travelers go straight to and from the airport to home, not the office.

- Just about anyone who gets their travel expenses paid for drives or takes Uber/Lyft/taxi.

- Most folks using the train to the airport are employees, not travelers.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby art_suckz » 01 Feb 2019 10:31

TNWE wrote:
muncien wrote:DART seems to be built for those who have no choice instead of trying to serve the area population as a whole. I'm not suggesting that it's a bad objective as it does provide an option to those who have no other option. But when you do that, you have little motivation for providing 'better' service. Kinda like the DMV...


Isn't that true of most every mass transit system, though? To first and foremost provide mobility for those who can't afford any other alternative? city.


Time to talk about Japan again.

Japan IMO is the most effective and most successful system of all time. They have a model that makes money and constantly grows. They do it by focusing on activities that make money. Mostly, acquiring real estate that can be multifunction... then they use every inch of that land to build shops to make the station more than just a place to get on a train. They make it an entertainment and shopping destination. They actually have their own branded department stores and get all the rent money from the other shops.

Because of this, they make money and also... a ticket is SUPER cheap. They also don't have to wait 20 years to add a few miles of expansion. They're constantly able to adapt and grow.

I dont think this is a result of the density of riders... its a result of a better business model.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 01 Feb 2019 14:39

art_suckz wrote:
TNWE wrote:Isn't that true of most every mass transit system, though? To first and foremost provide mobility for those who can't afford any other alternative? city.


Time to talk about Japan again.

Japan IMO is the most effective and most successful system of all time. They have a model that makes money and constantly grows. They do it by focusing on activities that make money. Mostly, acquiring real estate that can be multifunction... then they use every inch of that land to build shops to make the station more than just a place to get on a train. They make it an entertainment and shopping destination. They actually have their own branded department stores and get all the rent money from the other shops.

Because of this, they make money and also... a ticket is SUPER cheap. They also don't have to wait 20 years to add a few miles of expansion. They're constantly able to adapt and grow.

I dont think this is a result of the density of riders... its a result of a better business model.


True, Japan treats transit as an enabler of development (they sell you a cheap ticket at (probably) a loss but more than make it up on ppl buying coffee or a meal at a shop in their station, or staying at hotels/working in offices built on land they own. Texas is sadly backwards in that there's some law prohibiting Transit authorities from developing land holdings, so DART can't actively develop their P&R lots (but I think private developers can lease the land, but the onus is on them to start development).

That said, Japan is very different from Texas as far as cultural and social mores. When I visited Tokyo, there was a broken faregate at a subway station, and even though it was held open, everyone dutifully tapped their cards on the reader to pay the proper fare. Meanwhile, we have DART passengers spinning increasingly elaborate tales to Fare Enforcement about why they shouldn't be expected to pay $3 for their ticket. There's very little violent or property crime, so there's no perception of transit as being "unsafe"- the police spend more time giving directions and accosting the occasional jaywalker. Tokyo itself is much denser and doesn't have nearly as much poverty compared to greater Dallas. Until something happens to address those considerations, I don't see the Tokyo model as being something we can replicate here, even if DART is freed to become a real estate developer.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cbdallas » 01 Feb 2019 14:56

I know that this is anathema but several cities in Europe including an entire nation Luxembourg is making all transit rides free to both encourage ridership and discourage single use vehicles. Also this helps balance out the divide between rich and poor as it removes a cost to the lower end of the income ladder. Again probably would never fly here but interesting to see what else is going on in other parts of the blue marble.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 01 Feb 2019 14:58

TNWE wrote:Texas is sadly backwards in that there's some law prohibiting Transit authorities from developing land holdings, so DART can't actively develop their P&R lots (but I think private developers can lease the land, but the onus is on them to start development).


I figured something like this was the case, seeing as how Texas definitely likes to limit how much power/control the government has.

It would be nice for DART to be able to generate revenue some other way, but, in general, our politics here are a lot of the reason why so many companies are moving here. We may not always agree with them 100%, but they have done a lot to benefit DFW as well.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby art_suckz » 01 Feb 2019 15:11

TNWE wrote:... I don't see the Tokyo model as being something we can replicate here, even if DART is freed to become a real estate developer.


We could totally replicate it... the land use law absolutely has to change and I see the DART police at fault most of the rest.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby joshua.dodd » 02 Feb 2019 15:48

The Tokyo model is also private. The transit lines in Tokyo are privately run.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby art_suckz » 04 Feb 2019 09:15

joshua.dodd wrote:The Tokyo model is also private. The transit lines in Tokyo are privately run.


Which I also think should happen with DART. :- )
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 04 Feb 2019 10:55

You can also look at Japanese cities (check google maps for yourself) and see not only how few 'freeways' (not free) there are, and how SMALL of a footprint they take. Many of the things that make cities robust and transit friendly are thwarted by the excessive tilt we have toward the automobile here.
So long as that remains the case, transit will be a 'loosing' game, and the cities will hurt because of it.

Using a 6,000lb vehicle to transport a single 200lb occupant, taking up hundreds of square feet of open concrete in dense urban areas is grossly inefficient.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby itsjrd1964 » 04 Feb 2019 12:31

DART secures funds to extend Dallas' rail stations for bigger, longer trains

The stations that will be affected are just on the Red and Blue lines. All stations on the Red line south and north of downtown, as well as all but 5 (UNT-Dallas, Camp Wisdom, Ledbetter, Lake Highlands, and Rowlett) on the Blue line south and northeast of downtown, will have their platforms extended and sections of platform raised slightly. None of the Orange line or Green line stations will be included, as they already are at the longer platform length and have all the necessary raised sections.

http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city- ... s-raising/
https://www.dart.org/about/expansion/pl ... nsions.asp

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby joshua.dodd » 04 Feb 2019 15:40

The DART light rail system would work great as a commuter system. However, that would require a transition of infrastructure from light rail to heavy rail such as Tex Rail or DCTA A Train. It would also require removing several stations along the lines in order to speed up the train schedule. DART needs to focus on an entirely new rail oriented transit system that serves the dense neighborhoods. The Japanese model is very interesting because its model built modern day Tokyo. The Japanese government nationalized the railway industry in the early twentieth century except for a few companies. These few had to do everything they could to survive a post-nationalization Japan. One way they did this was by establishing developing corporations which focused on building pedestrian, high density, developments around their train stations. This model has worked beautifully. Dallas is a go to city for free enterprise. We should embrace this concept.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 07 Feb 2019 01:33

joshua.dodd wrote:The DART light rail system would work great as a commuter system. However, that would require a transition of infrastructure from light rail to heavy rail such as Tex Rail or DCTA A Train. It would also require removing several stations along the lines in order to speed up the train schedule. DART needs to focus on an entirely new rail oriented transit system that serves the dense neighborhoods. The Japanese model is very interesting because its model built modern day Tokyo. The Japanese government nationalized the railway industry in the early twentieth century except for a few companies. These few had to do everything they could to survive a post-nationalization Japan. One way they did this was by establishing developing corporations which focused on building pedestrian, high density, developments around their train stations. This model has worked beautifully. Dallas is a go to city for free enterprise. We should embrace this concept.

Stadler makes EMU versions of both GTWs (DCTA A-Train) and FLIRTs (TexRail and possibly Cotton Belt trains). I'm sure Stadler could power them with 750 DC if needed, I am not sure these trains could be downsized to fit in DART light rail clearances - Stadler does make them at various sizes around the world. What I am sure is that these Stadler trains can not navigate through several sharp curves - especially the curves at the various wyes in or near downtown Dallas.
I suppose these curves could be completely rebuilt, but we are talking about going from 75 feet radius minimum curves to 300 feet radius minimum curves - not that easy either way.

Stadler does make another train that could make better light rail replacements than GTWs anf FLIRTs, the new trains they are now building for Merseyside Rail in Liverpool England. They carry the UK rail classification of Class 777.
Train length 64.98 m (213 ft 2 in)
Car length TBC (DTSO)
TBC (TSO)
Width 2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)
Height 3.82 m (12 ft 6 in)[3]
Floor height 0.96 m (3 ft 2 in)
Doors 2 × twin sliding doors (DTSO)
4 × twin sliding doors (TSO)
Maximum speed 75 mph (121 km/h)
Weight 99 t (97 long tons)
Capacity 182 seats, 302 standing
Power output 2,100 kW (2,800 hp)
Electric system(s) 750 V DC third rail or overhead catenary
Minimum curve radii is not published, London underground is around 200 feet - I think Liverpool's underground would not be less.

You build a light rail system, changing it after the fact to something else is not going to be cheap to do. :(

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cbdallas » 06 Mar 2019 14:04

I wonder if the city could pass eliminating parking requirements for transit adjacent projects to spur development and ridership going forward and it would also encourage more urban density in the city. I have seen that some other cities have already done this.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 06 Mar 2019 14:10

Cbdallas wrote:I wonder if the city could pass eliminating parking requirements for transit adjacent projects to spur development and ridership going forward and it would also encourage more urban density in the city. I have seen that some other cities have already done this.


Honestly parking requirements should be eliminated entirely. I don't see the benefit of having them at all at this point. It's not like developers will all of a sudden stop building parking spaces just because the city isn't mandating it. Developers know their developments will fail without ample parking (in most cases), so they will continue to provide enough parking to keep customers happy.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 06 Mar 2019 14:40

Cbdallas wrote:I wonder if the city could pass eliminating parking requirements for transit adjacent projects to spur development and ridership going forward and it would also encourage more urban density in the city. I have seen that some other cities have already done this.

San Diego just did this. Get w the program Dallas

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby itsjrd1964 » 18 Mar 2019 16:21

DART chief urges Congress to pass infrastructure bill, citing coming work on Cotton Belt and D2 lines

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dart/20 ... t-d2-lines

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby f4shionablecha0s » 20 Mar 2019 14:43

Any thoughts on DART’s insane plan to shut down downtown rail service every weekend between now and September to replace the tracks? After they just did a track replacement a few years ago? Six months of no weekend service (bus shuttles in place) is an insane inconvenience.

I’d really like some information on why the trails failed again so soon after the last track replacement and if anyone is being held responsible.


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