Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Towing Buses and Trying to "Unstick" Light Rail

Categories: Transportation
dartbusontollway.JPG
Daniel Rodrigue
Dallas Area Rapid Transit has suspended most of its light-rail service due to ice and wind. There is this update, though: "We are operating 4 trains on the Trinity Railway Express this morning instead of the usual 6. We are trying to operate trains out of Union and T&P about every 30 to 40 minutes."

But moments ago, a Friend of Unfair Park forced to head into work downtown suggested: "They need to take the buses off the streets as well. Every one I have seen has been either on the side of the road or in the middle of the intersection." (Below, Brother Bill Holston says his ride in on the DART bus was just dandy.) At which point, coincidentally, our own Daniel Rodrigue sent the photo you see above, taken a few minutes ago on the Dallas North Tollway headed southbound, near Arapaho.

I checked with DART spokesman Morgan Lyons to get an update, and he says the transit agency doesn't have an exact count of stranded buses -- "but I am sure there are a good number of 'em," he says. To which he adds: "We'll keep running buses where we can. We've been able to run some buses, and we've got a dozen tow trucks -- we started with eight -- to try to get the buses unstuck where we can. Now that the precipitation has stopped falling, we're starting to get out and unstick trains one at a time, and that's a very time-intensive product, because you cant just go wailing on a switch or an overhead power line."
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Renegade
Renegade

I'm confused. I'm on a major bus line, and have always been able to take the bus to work downtown, because they had crews out on the roads during the night. Are we going to learn a few months from now that that DART pimped out our road crews to Arlington for the Super Bowl, instead of getting everyone else to work?

LL
LL

I believe that it is the City that is responsible for the streets -- so if crews were pimped, it was by the City. However, when you have ice, there is not much anyone can do about it. (I am from Minnesota - and even there, we aren't silly enough to try and drive on ice.)

cp
cp

Well, we are here. Morons.

cp
cp

DART should have ran special ice cars throughout the night. The freezing sleet came in at 4am while they were shut down. As long as they run ice cars, they won't freeze. It's what the McKinney Avenue Trolley does and guess what? They're running two streetcars in Uptown right now. DUH!

Gabe
Gabe

I'm probably wrong, but I think Dallas could a support a regular late or all night train. The last weekday red going north leaves downtown at 12:30 and the last weekend is at 12:00.

At least have a 1 and 2:30 to get the drunks home.

Weezy
Weezy

Preparation? Did they not hear the same weather reports everyone else did????

All Together Now
All Together Now

trolley kept a-rollin' all night long / trolley kept a-rollin' all night long...

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Isn't the whole point of pumping all that money into light rail is that it would be active on days like today where driving isn't a good idea?

I got stopped on my drive this morning at a railroad crossing of a freight train doing about 40, but light rail can't keep active. Very possibly apples to oranges, but still mildly amusing.

train-dude
train-dude

In northern cities, the rail systems are better equipped to deal with this weather, with heaters at the switches and protective coverings to prevent ice build-up on the wires. But I guess the problem is not common enough here to warrant those additional devices.

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