D-Link, Dallas' Free Downtown Shuttle, Rolls Out This Morning

Categories: Transportation

DLinkBus.jpg
For the first time in three decades, Dallas is home to a downtown shuttle. And for the first time ever, the shuttle will not be marked by three-foot high bunny ears and painted-on whiskers, a la the ill-fated "Hop-a-Bus" program.

The trademark pink will remain, however, as DART rolls out D-Link, its free downtown bus route, at 11 this morning, the product of a $1.4-million-per-year partnership between DART, the city of Dallas, and Downtown Dallas, Inc.

The route starts at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Cedars Station after 6 p.m.) before winding past Dealey Plaza en route to Victory Park, where it skirts the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the American Airlines Center, and then Klyde Warren Park before another trip back into the Central Business District. From there, it skips over the Trinity River and loops through Oak Cliff, making the requisite pass by the Bishop Arts District.

If that doesn't make sense, here's a map to confuse you further:

DLINKROUTEMAP.jpg

The important things to remember are that the buses run every 15 minutes between 11 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, that they are completely free, and that they pass by Dealey Plaza twice on each route, which should come in handy on November 22.

Now here's DART's time-lapse video of the buses getting wrapped:


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32 comments
Obummer
Obummer

Yo free lunch has not been invented yet.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 I got on just to make an "it ain't pink so..." comment, and then they went and fooled me.

I've got a little story to tell you.  You know, we didn't do this by ourselves.  There's always somebody behind the scenes that's helping you, you know, the unknown soldier.  For 33 years, I've ridden busses.  In 1976 a boy was born, and his dream was to ride a pink bus for free.  Y'all, I'm from Pleasant Grove, and we've got a lot of problems down there.  I want you to go home tonight, and remember, say a little prayer for all of us.  God bless you as he's blessed me, you're awesome.  Thank you very much.

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

As if DART doesn't throw enough of our money away. 

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

I'd feel pretty hostile right now if I were somebody who pays a bus fare every day to get to work/etc and then here comes this free bus service for rich tourists to go to fancy places.  I hope homeless people camp on this thing all day long.

monstruss
monstruss

I kinda wish it swung a little closer to Deep Ellum, but it's a good start for sure.

casiepierce
casiepierce

1) Hop-a-Bus was extremely popular.

2) McKinney Avenue Transit had an extension to its M-Line about 10 years ago with trolley buses that ran through downtown. They were not popular.


dingo
dingo

This line comes in at a fraction of the proposed streetcar costs.  Paint the bus up cool and maybe people will ride to the legitimately interesting destinations. A legitimate product at a fair price for both the users and the taxpayers.

There is also the multiplier effect where folks will consider Dart Rail to downtown for the free transportation to these endpoints.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

sweet, our group is going to ride this one day this week from the Arts District to Bishop.  I just wonder how long that trip back will take.

ruddski
ruddski

Sure is... Pink. Is that a nod to breast cancer, or is this the Cedar Creek bus?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@notmadeomoney umm, wow.  You dont think that downtown workers and residents wont benefit from this too?  And how many RICH tourists are going to utilize a free bus service.  My guess, would be very few being that they are rich they probably have someone drive them around

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@casiepierce I used to work downtown during the days of Hop-a-Bus and it most definitely should not be referred to as "ill-fated"     I remember it as popular and widely used by the office crowd.

lolotehe
lolotehe

@casiepierce I'm still tripping on them saying it was 30 years ago. I remember the red (kangaroo), blue (rabbit), and green (frog) hop-a-buses in the mid-90s. Heck, the guy who drove the frog would even "ribbit" over the external PA.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@casiepierce My thoughts exactly. Calling Hop-a-Bus "ill fated" is entirely wrong. They lasted quite a while and worked well for a lot of people.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Yes. Just like everyone takes the DART to Uptown to the free trolley now.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@dingo 

Lol @ "a fair price."  It's free.


Oh you mean it's a fair price for taxpayers to pay because unlike the regular DART routes, this is an investment in trickle-down tourism development.

J_A_
J_A_

Uber it back

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@ScottsMerkin @notmadeomoney I don't mean RICH like the personal-chauffer crowd, I mean RICH like the I-don't-ride-the-bus-on-a-daily-basis-and-I-like-going-to-hip-areas-and-dropping-$50-to-$100-bucks-on-dinner-crowd.


monstruss
monstruss

@icowrich @monstruss Downtown is covered in light rail stops, so what's your point? If the D-Link program is all about getting people around to the tourist attractions around downtown (and Oak Cliff, I guess), would a stop in Deep Ellum be that hard?

monstruss
monstruss

@casiepierce @ruddski I think he meant Cedar Springs, but was too busy thinking about all of the other shitty things he could say to get his comment right. 

ruddski
ruddski

It takes you where you want to go, where will it send you?

icowrich
icowrich

@notmadeomoney @ScottsMerkin It's not a charitable bus.  It's a business investment.  Dallas is banking on making its money back through increased revenue from all of the shopping its supposed to stimulate.  The fact that out-of-towners and hipsters are going to drop "$50-to-$100-bucks-on-dinner" is rather the point of it. 

ruddski
ruddski

You offense is amusing, much funnier than the joke. Bet you're a hit at parties.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski 

You once again prove my point about Righties and their lame ass "It's a joke!" stance.

ruddski
ruddski

Tdkisok, making a gay joke is not an expression of unfounded fear, friend, it's a fucking JOKE, idiot.

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