November 5, 2013

Dallas' DART launches downtown circulator route

Photo courtesy DART

Photo courtesy DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) D-Link buses began circulating through downtown Dallas and neighboring districts on Monday. The free shuttle — a partnership among DART, the city of Dallas and Downtown Dallas Inc. —   connects major tourist attractions and employment centers in the city center.

D-Link buses, identified by a vibrant magenta and yellow bus wrap, arrive every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. More than 30 matching signs and ground graphics identify key bus stops, with nearly 70 stops total along the route.

"Rail brings people into downtown; D-Link takes them to the doorstep of their destination,” said DART president/executive director Gary Thomas.

The circulator route links such downtown destinations as the American Airlines Center, Klyde Warren Park, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Arts District, Main Street hotels and restaurants, Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

“This circulator represents another advance in our ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown and provides a much-needed link to southern Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “I am excited about the potential of new stops being added in the future as our city continues to grow south.”

To encourage ridership, project partners are offering the D-Link service for free, eliminating the need to figure out fares or locate a ticket machine. Passengers still must purchase a DART pass to transfer to other bus and rail services. DART Police will have a regular presence on the buses to safeguard passengers.

The entire route takes approximately 45 minutes and crosses 10 of Dallas' districts.

While D-Link is a tourist and convention visitor resource, the frequency and route also make it easier to reach employers located in and near downtown, including hospitals, restaurants, hotels, office buildings, cultural attractions and retail. Employees gain greater options for lunch and after-hours dining; urban residents can get around without driving.

D-Link is designed to complement other current and future transit services, including the DART system, Trinity Railway Express and Amtrak. The Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar and the M-Line Urban Circulator projects both will be complete by 2015, and the D-Link route will adapt accordingly.

The opening of the Orange Line extension to DFW Station in December 2014, combined with D-Link, will enable travelers to work or play in Dallas without renting a car. Local North Texas residents also will be able to explore more areas of the city without driving.

View a timelapse video of the new buses getting wraps here.

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