Texas-OU's Five Months Away, And DART Wants to Work Out the Kinks Way Early
You won't be able to catch it at the Victory Park or MLK Jr. stations Sunday between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. DART's got a very good reason: It's trying to see if it can reconfigure the Green Line in order to avoid the clusterfudge that was last year's Texas-OU snafu. Says DART spokesman Morgan Lyons, the transit agency will turn the Green Line into a kind of "express" Sunday morning.
That means it'll just go in one direction, clockwise, as it circles through the West End, Akard, St. Paul, Pearl, Deep Ellum, Baylor University Medical Center and Fair Park stations. At that point, DART will insert into the Green Line several cars from the Red and Blue Lines before then bringing the whole kit and kaboodle back into the West End. You'll still be able to ride the Green Line Sunday -- you'll just have to ride in one big ol' circle.
They've inserted extra cars before -- during last year's Texas-OU, matter of fact -- but never has DART turned the Green Line into a one-way run. But, says Lyons, "one of the lessons we learned was we need to add more capacity quicker, and we think this will help us do that."
"We know we can combine Red, Green and Blue service," he says. "We just don't know if we can do it at the level we want to achieve. We want to see exactly how many trains we can move through there in the same direction. We've modeled it. We think it'll work. But we want to know for sure by putting the trains out there and seeing how it looks. You can sit there and do the math; you can say, 'The trains takes this long to travel this distance, so I can move X number of trains over Y distance.' But until you test it -- and this isn't our normal practice, running trains this way -- you really don't know."
DART isn't sure how many riders running the trains like this will add -- but, says Lyons, by the October 2 kick-off at the Cotton Bowl, all the DART trains will be super-light rail vehicles, which already have "30 percent more capacity than an regular light rail vehicle -- that gives us a near three-car capacity in two cars."
And, he says, there's still talk of adding more buses and even the TRE to the mix for Texas-OU. "We've talked to the city about dedicated bus lanes, which would be the only way to make that work -- go get them separated from regular traffic flow in and around Fair Park."
Ah. And speaking of congestion, DART did want to remind bus-riders that Saturday's gonna be a bit tight downtown, what with the immigration-reform MegaMarch on the agenda. Here are some detours you may wanna know about -- only six pages' worth.