DART conducted a “Value of Transit” study to better understand what is important to riders, the communities we serve, and key stakeholders. The study also assesses transit’s value in both qualitative and quantitative measures.
This will allow DART to continue to add value and enhance the quality of life by aligning our efforts around a common vision and mutually beneficial outcomes. When we discuss transit as part of a holistic strategy, we can leverage all transportation modes to their highest and best use. This is not a zero-sum game – we all have a role to play and are far more effective working together.
Findings about the value of transit – and by extension DART – fell into three categories:
Economic Impact – Transit reduces the cost of travel, not just for riders but for everyone who shares our roadways, by decreasing congestion, which lowers travel time and the associated business expenses. DART employs approximately 3,700 people directly and is a major buyer of goods and services. This ripples through the North Texas economy, generating jobs, GDP, and tax revenue of $2 billion, including nearly $226 million in local, county, state, and federal taxes.
Accessibility & Mobility – DART’s multimodal network provides a convenient, safe, and affordable travel option that decreases transportation costs and improves access to jobs, medical services, educational opportunities, special events, and more. In recent years, we have redesigned our bus network to improve frequency on all our routes, accommodate increased travel during midday and weekends, and better utilize our GoLink on-demand service to improve coverage and access to transit.
Environmental & Safety – Public transit ridership helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing overall vehicle miles traveled. Public transit is also safer than driving. Trips on DART are estimated to reduce annual crashes by 600, saving $106 million annually in associated crash costs. Walkable, mixed-use transit-oriented development can reduce automobile trips by encouraging pedestrian and transit travel, but cities must shape land use and development patterns that promote transit use.