On DART, Teens and Seniors Will Get a Break on Fare Hike While Everyone Else Pays Up

Categories: Transportation

darttrain1.jpg
Come December, this lady will be paying more to ride DART. Unless she keeps dressing like my grandmother.
A while back, DART announced it was considering fare changes that will, assuming they are adopted, will go into effect on December 3.

The proposal would do several things. It would streamline the fare structure and introduce variable pricing for peak- and non-peak hours, but for most riders, it will increase prices -- by 25 percent for purchases of local passes (good for DART trains and local buses). Which is why DART expects the change to bring in an extra $5 million, despite an expected drop in ridership of .2 percent. (Without the fare change, DART thinks ridership would increase by one percent.)

To see how riders feel about the fare hike, DART hosted a series of 18 town hall meetings, plus one on Twitter. The in-person gatherings drew a whopping 153 attendees or, if you're keeping score, 8.5 persons per. Participation in the Twitter town hall was about the same.

Hard to blame anyone for not showing up. Showing up at a no doubt boring public hearing to provide input that will probably be ignored on a decision that has already been decided seems like pissing in the wind, only without the cool mist in your face.

As it turns out, DART actually was listening, at least to those of you who aren't between the ages of 19 and 64. The agency now plans cut prices in half for seniors, high school students, and the disabled, according to a briefing that will be delivered to a DART committee later this afternoon.

From the briefing:

As a result of the comments from the community meetings, DART management made a change to the recommendation relating to reduced fares and high school students. Under the revised recommendation, Seniors and Disabled customers will be able to purchase a two-hour pass, a Day Pass, or a Monthly Pass at a 50% discount at any time. Children, ages 5 to 14, will be able to purchase a two-hour pass or a Day Pass at any time. High school students will be able to purchase a two-hour pass or a Day Pass at a 50% discount Monday through Friday.

The rest of us can fork over the cash.

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12 comments
US175guy
US175guy

The problem I have with the increase is that DART riders aren't really getting anything more for their $1 more/day and/or $15 more/month.  In fact, some bus routes (including 1 by where I live) are being changed or eliminated.  The only addition is the new Bachman-to-Las Colinas section of the Orange Line, which, like all the other rail lines here, doesn't help me any on my commute to/from work.

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Actually, about 3% at a meeting that I was told that ride without paying. You can't have turnstiles other than Cityplace because A. Most of the stations are outdoors B. They are going to jump over them. C. They are still going to pass though when a person with a pass swipes behind them. D. If we have people there at each station 24/4 taking tickets, its going to be a cost. I would use the System Pass since I live on a Flex Route, but some of the drivers refused to do that because they didn't know back in the days when I was able to get a reduced pass that it was for everything and tried to rip me off and just flat out refused since they there early. Now they are supposed to change the system in October so that $5/$25/or$80 better be worth it or else I'm driving. I paid my taxes and yet don't get what is advertise, especially having to risk being beat-up and robbed in my own neighborhood.

KuruManJones
KuruManJones

This is still a fare increase for teens and seniors. It's currently $2 for a reduced day pass (need to show DART-area high school ID). Day passes would be $2.50 for highschoolers and senior. That's a greater percentage increase than would happen to regular day passes. The new reduced fare would only be available on weekdays as well. Right now, it's all week.

Gat2keeponmovin
Gat2keeponmovin

They need to charge teens extra for being little urchin criminals.

Anthony Burris
Anthony Burris

I've taken the TRE from Hurst/Bell to Victory, then hopped on rail and gone to Fair, North Dallas, Garland and never been asked for my ticket. If they just pay for the turnstiles at every station and you cut down on free loaders 

Jerry
Jerry

You've obviously only ridden a few times and probably not recently.  Fare enforcement cops on randomly on the trains checking tickets quite often.  I get ask to show a ticket at lest once each time I ride now.  This wasn't always the case, but currently, it seems that enforcement is effective and very few people are trying to get a free ride.

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

This fare increase is the reason the Ghost Bar is going out of business. I knew it!!

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

Let me preface by saying that I don't live in Dallas and have only ridden the Dart trains a few times.  However, I have ridden the subway in Washington DC a lot and seen a little of NYC. In DC and NYC I had to deposit my tokens before I could go through the turnstile.  If memory serves correct, my few times here on the Dart trains was completely on the honor system.  We only went from Union Station to the Mockingbird Stations 2 - 3 times but I don't recall going through any turnstile. My question is two-fold - 1) Is the Dart trains on the honor system, and 2) how many people are riding without paying?

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

"Hard to blame anyone for not showing up. Showing up at a no doubt boring public hearing to provide input that will probably be ignored on a decision that has already been decided seems like pissing in the wind, only without the cool mist in your face." Thats why you have to have loads and I mean loads of people to take over and say no. Saying you don't like increases on blogs don't help. You have to go to the meetings, tweet on there accounts, and speak-up. The Seniors did, but not the average Joe.

Mike
Mike

Only 4 % of Dallas residents use any form of transit and the number is smaller in the suburbs. From what sliver of the Venn diagram would the big crowds originate? Most of that 4 % have incomes well below city average and have less free time to attend. We may have more Wiccans in Dallas than transit riders. When was the last time you met a Wiccan?

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

$2.50 will be for a Day Pass, and a two-hour pass will be $1.75 under the proposed rates.

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