DART Completes Vinyl Seat Upgrade on Light-Rail Vehicle Fleet

LRT Vinyl Seat
Posted on Jul 1, 2024 by DART News Release

The conversion from old and faded fabric to sleek, new vinyl seat covers on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light-rail vehicle fleet is complete.

Contracted crews finished installing the seating on the last train that was scheduled for the upgrade on June 19. In total, DART refurnished more than 16,000 seats on 158 vehicles in its light-rail fleet – including 95 that have been in service for over 25 years.  

“This was a top priority for us coming out of the pandemic because we realized we needed to have surfaces that are easier to keep clean and sanitary, while providing a comfortable and inviting ride for our customers,” said Darryl Spencer, vice president of engineering and technical services development. “Being able to improve the look and feel of some of our oldest vehicles as we prepare to introduce new ones into light-rail service in the next few years is a win-win for everyone.”

DART upgraded each of the trains with seating that features new padding and a premium vinyl finish. The new seats covers are sleeker, softer, and easier to clean, helping DART continue to drive home the importance of a superior customer experience.

The seating upgrade plan began at the beginning of 2024 with a single pilot train outfitted with new seats. Customers provided feedback through an in-vehicle survey, with over 95% of those surveyed saying the seats felt cleaner, more hygienic and made the interior of the vehicle more refreshing. DART began retrofitting the older vehicles with new vinyl seating and once completed, rotated each vehicle into service on the Red, Blue, Green and Orange Lines.   

“We challenged our contractor to accomplish this task before the Fourth of July when people are using DART to get to fireworks shows, family barbeques and other fun events around the area, so getting it done quickly and effectively is icing on the cake,” said Marvin Hurt, assistant vice president of fleet engineering. “We hope this makes the riding experience for our customers more enjoyable over the long holiday weekend and moving forward.”

New vinyl seats on the four vehicles used to operate the Dallas Streetcar were also installed. DART will update the seating on five additional decommissioned trains to maintain spare seats and parts for future repairs and necessary replacements.

DART is in the process of orchestrating a Systems Modernization Plan that will help the agency achieve its strategic goals of providing a quality customer experience, creating seamless travel experiences, and delivering fantastic spaces that add value to the community. This plan includes the purchase of new light-rail vehicles and buses to upgrade and modernize the current transit fleet. The seating upgrade is just one example that shows that DART is committed to delivering a great experience for customers now and into the future. 

To learn more about DART or plan your next trip online, please visit www.dart.org

Categories : DART Daily News
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