D-Link Ridership is Modest, But Officials Say Dallas' Free Downtown Shuttle Shows Promise

Categories: Transportation

DartDlinkCityHall.jpg
DART
City Councilwoman Vonciel Hill, modeling her bus-riding clothes at D-Link's official Nov. 4 launch.
It's still far too early to declare D-Link's two-year pilot program a success or to gauge the long-term popularity of a free downtown shuttle. But after nearly two months in operation, officials say they're pleasantly surprised.

"It's exceeded our expectations so far," says Downtown Dallas Inc. president John Crawford, whose organization is splitting the $1.4-million annual bill with the city and DART. DART spokesman Mark Ball adds "we're pleased with what we're seeing."

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

The numbers so far aren't eye-popping. Statistics provided by DART show daily ridership averaging several hundred people, with a peak on Saturday nearing 500:

Monday: 377

Tuesday: 372

Wednesday: 381

Thursday: 402

Friday: 357

Saturday: 488

Compared to the region's other high-profile (albeit not free) new bus route, Arlington's MAX, which has daily ridership of around 250, the figures are solid. But with D-Link shuttles making 96 runs per day -- 48 in either direction -- the buses aren't exactly packed. Most days, the average ridership per bus hovers south of four.

That doesn't discourage Crawford, who is quick to point out that D-Link is starting from scratch and had a relatively modest rollout.

"I'm hopeful we'll continue to improve the numbers and also hopeful that we can expand the service, going to places like Deep Ellum, Farmers Market, other areas that are being" developed, Crawford says.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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22 comments
kduble
kduble

Designing a route that attempts to provide curb service to so many venues yet only runs in one direction results in a route that is too time-consuming to be of practical use.

JackJett
JackJett

I am having a hard time distinguishing the BUS from the HILL.   Yet I assume they both cost about the same to ride. 

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

$140,000 a mile per year! What a wonderful use of tax dollars!

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

So a $12 per rider subsidy to drive a big ass empty bus around town.. this is what our civic leaders can come up with?


Good job assholes. 

OldManOfHockey1
OldManOfHockey1

Would be better if the buses actually stopped where they are supposed to and didn't just zip past the stop assuming people standing there really don't want to ride. Would also help if there was a stop close to the AAC on the To the Convention Center route which maps indicate stops at Olive @ Cedar Spring and then at Victory @ Museum with no stop in between, going right by the WFAA offices and the AAC plaza on Olive.

kearbyrives
kearbyrives

D-Link is awesome! And free! I sure hope they expand to additional areas.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

For a homophobic bigot, Vonciel sure does look like a sashayin' drag queen, that flipped her wig.

wes.house
wes.house

Stop this junk and focus on getting the rails running till 3am

gm0622
gm0622

Myrna, ROFLMFAO


Seattle Metro recently closed their free ride zone which covered all of downtown. It was good for the office workers and tourists, but too many of the 'disadvantaged' people (street drunks) were using it as well.

kduble
kduble

@kearbyrives The route needs to be shortened, simplified and run in both directions.

lolotehe
lolotehe

@MontemaloneOh, thank god. Someone else saw it. I thought it was just the pain pills talkin'.

kduble
kduble

@wes.house  D-Link ties in neighborhoods that lack rail service.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@gm0622You know, that could work.

Just load up the busses with undesirables and give 'em all a free ride to Waco or Tyler or some lovely place like that. Maybe dig into the HUD account to buy gas.

gm0622
gm0622

@Montemalone@gm0622 

Long ass drive from Seattle to Waco, but if you are willing to pay for the fuel.................

 

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