Nadine Lee's tenure has been marked by a strategic focus on enhancing system safety, security, and reliability. - Photo: DART

Nadine Lee's tenure has been marked by a strategic focus on enhancing system safety, security, and reliability.

Photo: DART

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) board approved a new contract for President/CEO Nadine Lee.

The decision reflects the board's confidence in Lee's leadership and the progress DART has made under her guidance since July 2021.

“Nadine has demonstrated over her first three years of leading this agency that she has the passion, the vision, and the leadership attributes to continue to drive our system forward,” said Board Chair Gary Slagel. “Our vote of confidence in Nadine is a vote of confidence in the incredible leadership team she has put together, and the more than 3,800 people who work every day to ensure DART remains among the leading transit agencies in the country.” 

Lee’s Impact at DART

Lee's tenure has been marked by a strategic focus on enhancing system safety, security, and reliability.

DART is now operating at over 80% of pre-pandemic ridership levels. Bus and rail service cancelations and missed trips are at less than 1%, down from 15% two years ago. And, the agency recently made a significant investment in safety by hiring 100 additional Transit Security Officers.

“It is an honor to continue leading the dynamic and dedicated staff to leverage DART as a powerful mobility and economic asset for the millions of residents and visitors to our 13 service area cities,” Lee said. “As DFW grows by four million more people in the next 20 years, we will ensure that our regional transportation system underpins and sustains the high levels of economic productivity we have today.”

Transitioning from a period of extensive system expansion, Lee redirected DART's focus toward optimizing existing operations. This approach has led to an overhaul of the bus system, highlighting the agency's commitment to investing in a robust transit system for current and future residents.

Lee has also spearheaded several technological and operational advancements. Her administration expanded real-time data access, allowing more customers to track vehicle locations, delays, and service changes.

Growing the Agency

Under Lee's leadership, DART has achieved industry-first integrations, such as the deep integration of Uber with DART’s GoLink service, generating substantial operational savings. DART has also partnered with other transit agencies around the country, licensing its GoPass payment and trip planning app.

Using innovative strategies to address operator vacancies, DART was able to restore the original DARTzoom bus network to full service, achieving over 99% of scheduled trips. This summer, DART is adding even more new service, moving forward to achieve its goal of frequent and seamless service.

Clean Teams were launched on light rail vehicles and buses, ensuring cleanliness and enhancing the customer experience. A comprehensive rail safety campaign led to a 51% reduction in pedestrian-related light rail collisions.

Lee’s team has also overseen ongoing development of the $2.1 billion Silver Line project, aligning the budget and schedule with the project scope. DART received significant funding for the adjacent Cotton Belt Hike and Bike Trail, including a $25 million RAISE grant.

The agency's System Modernization Program is also in full swing, with $2.1 billion allocated for upgrades and a $103 million Low-No grant for modernizing the CNG bus fleet.

The board also recently approved the agency’s new Point B Strategic Plan, which includes priorities focused on the agency, customers, and communities. The strategic plan, developed over the past year, requires strong leadership for successful implementation.

Lee’s passion for leveraging DART as a regional economic and mobility asset is evident in her achievements and the trust she has garnered from the staff and community.

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