Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board to OK Proposed Bus Route Changes Today
|Click to enlarge: From DART's Planning Committee agenda concering bus-route changes being voted on today|
For a number of years, DART service planning efforts have emphasized development of a fully integrated bus and rail network, where bus lines extend the reach of high capacity, higher-speed rail service over a much larger area than the rail can cover alone. To this end, rail extensions have been accompanied by major changes in bus service. With the Green Line, DART will be opening an unusually large segment of rail service in a short period of time. As a consequence, 2010 will see major changes in bus service to fully integrate buses with the new Green Line operation. The changes have been significant enough that DART will not make normal earlyyear service changes for 2010: all service planning efforts have been concentrated on Green Line integration.Following several public hearings, today's the day the DART board's Planning Committee votes on those changes -- though not without more than a few of them remaining controversial, at least among those who took part in those hearings.
The opening of the remainder of the Green Line LRT has triggered an extensive review of all DART bus services in the areas near the new alignment, including Pleasant Grove, South Dallas, Medical District, Northwest Dallas, Farmers Branch, and Carrollton. We have also conducted reviews in other areas, including Northeast Dallas and the Jefferson Corridor on Oak Cliff.
Contained within the Planning Commission's supplemental-info doc (which I'd download before trying to open -- it's a big file) is a list of six routes and three other issues (Access to Parkland and Medical District, Bus operations on Lawnview and Bus/rail connectivity at existing and future stations) that received more attention than any of the myriad changes rated and debated in recent months. Interestingly, the one change that got the most comments was one in Northwest Dallas. From the briefing:
Route 532: Proposed Route 532 replaces a portion of discontinued Route 31, which previously provided service on Welch Lane, serving W.T. White High School; however, Route 532 is proposed to operate on Midway not on Welch Lane. We received more comments on this issue than any other, and the comments were almost equally split between support for our recommendation, and a preference to have service available on Welch Lane. Shifting service from Midway to Welch would require operating an additional 53 miles per day, costing an additional $117 per day or $29,718.00 annually. Staff continues to recommend that we move forward with Route 532 as proposed.Update at 11:43 a.m.: As DART spokesman Morgan Lyons reminds, the Planning Committee is voting on the changes today. "Full Board won't take this up until May/June," he writes.