This is an ongoing series that will keep you informed about the goings-on in the transit industry. Hopefully, it will provide little perspective on the larger environment in which DART operates.
Cars driving themselves, a shared-ride giant calling for more robust public transit, and – oh, yeah – a pretty big story right here in Dallas. Keep reading to catch up on the news from transit-land.
Tales from the underground
There’s plenty of news on the home front, as the Dallas City Council recently greenlighted DART’s plans for building the D2 Subway through downtown Dallas. The mostly underground rail line will alleviate congestion in the Central Business District, reduce the “domino effect” when one rail line experiences delays, and potentially allows DART to increase train frequency.
WFAA quotes Downtown Dallas Inc. President and CEO Kourtny Garret:
“Downtown Dallas, Inc. has steadfastly supported D2 for several years. We are pleased that the City Council today advanced this transformative project. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the second downtown DART line best serves our city.”
In addition to making the local news outlets, the story has gotten some play nationally.
An autonomous choice
On the other side of the region, Metro Magazine reports that Arlington has introduced on-demand transit service in the form of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. The article notes:
“While the vehicles are self-driving, a trained fleet attendant will be in the driver’s seat at all times to ensure safe operations and to provide customer service for riders.”
The uber-importance of transit
Next City reports that in Europe, Uber is advocating for increased investment in public transit. The upshot:
“Networked cars, like Uber and Lyft vehicles, have already transformed the way millions worldwide get around, and they will continue to reshape the urban mobility picture in the years to come. But not so much as to make public transit obsolete. In fact, public transit will remain the bedrock upon which 21st-century urban mobility rests.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in America: Washington, DC.’s Capital Metro commits to greater integrating its region’s rail network; Boulder, Colo., rolls out three new all-electric buses; and, in New York, a transit advocate makes a case for the necessity of fare increases. DART typically raises fares every five to six years, for the same reasons outlined in the article.