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Dallas Area Rapid Transit

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 23 Mar 2018 11:03

Thinking out loud here...

But, I know many years ago I suggested that DART create a reduced/free fare area specific to the urban core that would allow DART rail to function more as a streetcar in that area, as it's very suitable to its design. Due to DART's existing fare structure, it actually discourages short trips and as a result hurts ridershio IMO.

The challenge was always with how to manage or enforce such a fare. If it were FREE, you could simply NOT check for passes while in the CBD (this is typically the case anyway). But FREE doesn't really sit well for many reasons.

With GoPass however... that changes things considerably. You could charge .50 or so, and even slightly expand the service area... Maybe from VP To DE and possibly City Place. They could easily restrict this type of fare to GoPass users, and even have it GPS enforced to disable the pass upon leaving the designated fare areas.

I think a little out-of-the-box thinking of these types of tools could increase DART ridership and help encourage GoPass adoption. As it stands now... I think ridesharing is cutting into short distance ridership quite a bit... particularly for the younger population.
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WilCo
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby WilCo » 23 Mar 2018 11:53

muncien wrote:Thinking out loud here...

But, I know many years ago I suggested that DART create a reduced/free fare area specific to the urban core that would allow DART rail to function more as a streetcar in that area, as it's very suitable to its design. Due to DART's existing fare structure, it actually discourages short trips and as a result hurts ridershio IMO.

The challenge was always with how to manage or enforce such a fare. If it were FREE, you could simply NOT check for passes while in the CBD (this is typically the case anyway). But FREE doesn't really sit well for many reasons.

With GoPass however... that changes things considerably. You could charge .50 or so, and even slightly expand the service area... Maybe from VP To DE and possibly City Place. They could easily restrict this type of fare to GoPass users, and even have it GPS enforced to disable the pass upon leaving the designated fare areas.

I think a little out-of-the-box thinking of these types of tools could increase DART ridership and help encourage GoPass adoption. As it stands now... I think ridesharing is cutting into short distance ridership quite a bit... particularly for the younger population.


I wish we had a system like every other city I've been to with sophisticated mass transit where you just scan at a station and pay based on the distance you've traveled. That may be difficult to install logistically at this point. I can understand the difficulty given most of the stations are outside, however if I remember correct many of the San Francisco and Chicago train stations were outside too and had the same system.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 23 Mar 2018 15:40

WilCo wrote:
I wish we had a system like every other city I've been to with sophisticated mass transit where you just scan at a station and pay based on the distance you've traveled. That may be difficult to install logistically at this point. I can understand the difficulty given most of the stations are outside, however if I remember correct many of the San Francisco and Chicago train stations were outside too and had the same system.


All of Chicago’s stations are separated from street level and gate-controlled.

In SF, BART is the same, Muni Metro is underground gate-controlled in parts and streetcar/bus-style in other parts, and Caltrain you tap on and off at non-gate-controlled stations with conductors on trains walking around checking fares.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 23 Mar 2018 15:47

The two systems I have used the most are LA METRO and DART; Both of which are 'open' systems. But I have used transit in NYC and CHI extensively as well. Personally, I definately prefer the aesthetics of the 'open' system vs the 'cattle gates' of closed systems. I also recognize that the differences between areas served tend favor long range travel here, and therefore the current fare structure works. But, I don't see why we can't have a hybrid system where local users have alternatives now. I realize paper ticketing would be complex, but with electronic tickets its much more practical to implement such a service.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 27 Mar 2018 11:41

Since we are making a 'wishlist' for DART, I've always wondered how beneficial it would be to have 'express' trains that go from end to end without stopping. Specifically, how much faster would it be to get from Parker Rd to Downtown if the train didn't stop.

If there is a huge time savings, I'd really like the idea of having express trains on every line. I'm not sure how feasible that would be, but I think DART is way too slow to really justify for most people who own cars.

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 27 Mar 2018 14:54

I don't think express trains would be a very good idea - it would basically be gifting residents who mostly live in cities that don't pay DART tax with faster service and more frequency than anyone else. I guess that would be fine if DART collected an equal amount of fare income to taxes, but they don't.

If you did an express train, it would be best if it started from something like 635 and not much farther north. Then 'express' would be about 10 minutes to downtown Pearl Station.

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Cbdallas
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cbdallas » 27 Mar 2018 14:59

When all of the trains are full all day then that is when we start thinking about express trains. Until then lets focus on dense train station development and ridership first and one mile radius station pathway improvements.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 27 Mar 2018 16:02

Yeah, DART trains right now in many ways work like the highways did in encouraging suburban living. When you make it easy to live further away and get into the center quickly it tends to shift priorities and rot the city from the inside out. I am not suggesting trapping people in the closer in areas but you can easily track how the highways created the suburbs and eventually sucked all the life out of Dallas and flung it further and further away. Same is happening to the first ring of suburbs that benefited from I-30, 35, 635 expansions.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 27 Mar 2018 16:08

Well, I guess it's good we don't have express trains then..haha. I had not considered how unfair it would be to certain paying cities of DART, and also how it would encourage even more sprawl up north, so, with that said, I'm thinking this isn't my best idea. I think, even with all the points outlined, I would still like to see an express train that goes from Downtown Fort Worth to Downtown Dallas at least. Seems like part of the long term HSR plan is to incorporate Fort Worth, but, because the distance is so short, I feel like we could accomplish almost the same thing with the existing trains if we made them an 'express' train.

I definitely agree with Cbdallas, in that we need more development around existing stations.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 29 Mar 2018 08:03

DPatel304 wrote:Well, I guess it's good we don't have express trains then..haha. I had not considered how unfair it would be to certain paying cities of DART, and also how it would encourage even more sprawl up north, so, with that said, I'm thinking this isn't my best idea. I think, even with all the points outlined, I would still like to see an express train that goes from Downtown Fort Worth to Downtown Dallas at least. Seems like part of the long term HSR plan is to incorporate Fort Worth, but, because the distance is so short, I feel like we could accomplish almost the same thing with the existing trains if we made them an 'express' train.

I definitely agree with Cbdallas, in that we need more development around existing stations.


But there already is one express train every day in each direction operating between downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth. It's called the Texas Eagle and is ran by Amtrak. It's rarely on time, so you will probably have to wait on it for hours at either station before you can board, during which several TRE trains may arrive and depart,

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 29 Mar 2018 09:25

Let me pause what I said. There can be a balance but its the transportation geared around moving bedroom community workers in town for work on the morning and back home at night that can lead to a suburban driven system. The highways have been the leading driver of this problem and continue to be. Focusing on the plan that everyone can live in Frisco and get into Downtown Dallas in fifteen minutes is where this problem begins. I am not against highways in every form or loyal to the idea that DART trains only enable continued suburbanite worship but we just have to balance the needs of the "suburbs" to the inner city. The first ring of suburbs is largely feeling the sting of what Dallas felt decades ago now that they themselves are being passed up for further out rings of burbs. Express trains are not evil and neither is DART trains in general. For me it all leads back to the bus system which we have discussed over and over and there is finally a few voices on the DART board that will admit the bus system is currently a ghost of what it could be.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby gshelton91 » 30 Mar 2018 10:07

Cbdallas wrote:When all of the trains are full all day then that is when we start thinking about express trains. Until then lets focus on dense train station development and ridership first and one mile radius station pathway improvements.


I would agree that DART and the City could do much more around stations to connect and energize the stations but... seems to me this is a chicken/egg issue caused by a poor incentive system where DART is not getting enough revenue from actual system users to focus on what the customer needs. I don't believe todays DART has incentives that are well aligned with the goals that we all have for the agency.

Don't undervalue the lure of speed. Personally I think that is the key problem of DART today. I really can't afford to take DART because it is so slow and i live in easy walking distance to a station. To add to the problem DART would not make enough money from me getting on a DART Train to make any effort to get me to use it.... in stead they are focused on expanding their system further out away from the city.

I would advocate for DART cities to stop just giving DART a fixed amount based on sales tax revenue and instead give an incentive per rider. This would radically change how DART works... But I think other cities would suddenly be more interested in being part of the system.

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 30 Mar 2018 10:20

I think express trains are a critical next step to evolve the system into something people can use. Perhaps TXDoT can cough up a billion to retrofit ~half of the system station for train leap-frog during rush hour. Until the law is changed to allow regional funding rather than municipal funding, I would say the state is particularly derelict in duty to the intra-city rail systems of the state.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 30 Mar 2018 20:27

A few considerations:

1. Frequency -- Express trains cut frequency at non-express stations, so you need a decent level of overall service to avoid making those stations terrible. The Orange/Red line runs 8 trains per hour during peak hours, which sits comfortably in the 6-12 tph range where express service can work well (if frequencies are too low, you have poor service; too high, you can't really make it work operationally). Express service may therefore make sense for that line.

2. Time Savings -- Express service works well when the lines are long and a large percentage of time on local trains is spent slowing down, stopped, or speeding up (that is, a high stop density/short distance between stops). While DART lines are plenty long, they have huge stop spacing. Even "close" stations like Walnut Hill and Park Lane are almost a mile apart. That means that eliminating stops will result in a relatively small amount of time savings, as a high percentage of time is already spent traveling at top speed.

3. Ridership Difference -- Express service provides more value if certain stations have particularly high (or low) potential ridership compared to others by allowing you to improve service for a large number of riders while reducing service for relatively few. If you squint reeeeally hard, you can see some differences (Parker Rd, Forest Ln, and Park Ln high; Downtown Plano and Galatyn Park low), but in the real world, those ridership numbers don't come close to the peaks and valleys that make express service make sense.

TL;DR -- You wouldn't get much benefit from running express trains on DART. The time savings wouldn't be that great, and you'd be harming nearly as many people as you'd be benefiting. If you absolutely must have an express train, though, it would be feasible on the Red/Orange line during peak hours, with likely stops of Parker Road > Bush Turnpike > Spring Valley > Forest Lane > Park Lane > Mockingbird.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 31 Mar 2018 03:03

With frequencies of 8 trains per hour on the red/orange line in north Dallas, there should be a train every 7. 5 minutes. Without additional passing sidings, a third track, the most savings in time an express train can make is at most 4 minutes - depending upon the size of the signal blocks.

When trains are running in the same direction, they either get a green go fast light (clear tracks ahead), or a red stop light (occupied tracks ahead) for the next signal block. if there is a train two signal blocks ahead, the following train will get an approach medium light (go slow you might need to stop at the next light).

Depending upon the size of DART's signal blocks, an express train might be following so close tit's seeing approach medium lights at every signal - and it would have to run slower than if following per the existing schedule.

Shrinking the size of the signal blocks would solve this problem, but that means spending lots more money on more signals to have more blocks.

The easiest solution is to install a third track so the express train can see clear ahead lights the entire length of the corridor - so that it can actually go fast!

For those who will argue that the trains run much closer to each other through the downtown street mall on Bryan and Pacific, you're correct. But how many times have you seen the trains run through those streets at 60 mph max speeds? I didn't think so because they usually are traveling relatively slower (aka approach medium speeds).

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 31 Mar 2018 12:06

electricron wrote:The easiest solution is to install a third track so the express train can see clear ahead lights the entire length of the corridor - so that it can actually go fast!


Great to have an ops perspective on express service as well! I just want to point out that you wouldn't have to have a third track along the entire corridor to get this benefit, though, as you could construct overtake locations where necessary.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 03 Apr 2018 08:54

tanzoak wrote:
electricron wrote:The easiest solution is to install a third track so the express train can see clear ahead lights the entire length of the corridor - so that it can actually go fast!


Great to have an ops perspective on express service as well! I just want to point out that you wouldn't have to have a third track along the entire corridor to get this benefit, though, as you could construct overtake locations where necessary.


And you need a lot less 3rd track if it is installed along the stations that are 'skipped', since passing a stopped train is a lot easier than passing a train at speed. I'm sure some numbers people can work out exactly how many trains you can 'leap' during a given express run. I highly doubt it would be more than one or two... which could save you between 15-23 minutes during peak time.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Cbdallas » 03 Apr 2018 11:05

Unless this is a problem with packed trains then Express is just another way to expand the suburbs. Someday I could see using express when Dallas urban density is such that local stop trains in the core are too full but we are light years away from full trains. I could see adding express at the same time we add more stations and stops in the urban core to facilitate all of the density but until then lets build out D2 and see where we are.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 04 Apr 2018 01:18

muncien wrote:And you need a lot less 3rd track if it is installed along the stations that are 'skipped', since passing a stopped train is a lot easier than passing a train at speed. I'm sure some numbers people can work out exactly how many trains you can 'leap' during a given express run. I highly doubt it would be more than one or two... which could save you between 15-23 minutes during peak time.


Running a train straight to Mockingbird would reduce the travel time for that train by like 12 minutes, max (assuming running at top speed [65mph] all the way through with no slowdowns, which wouldn't actually happen).

I don't know why you would want to do that, though. You would be worsening service for many, many more riders than you would be improving it for. The stations from Downtown Plano to Lovers have 4.5x as many riders as Parker Rd.

If you did the express route I laid out previously, the Parker Rd people would still save 7 min (vs 12), while you'd still be serving 64% of the ridership (vs 18%). Not to mention any Parker Rd people wanting to get off somewhere before Mockingbird.

I still don't think express service is a great deal here, but at least it's feasible. A Parker Rd to Mockingbird nonstop is a non-starter.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dzh » 08 Apr 2018 17:38

Not really sure where else to post, or ask this question...so I figured this might be the best spot.

Anyways, I remember reading on this forum (way back on the old forum, and maybe a decade ago as well) that a few buildings on Ross were constructed with potential subway stations in the basement. I could be totally misremembering this (which is probably not too unlikely), but just wanted to throw this out there to see if anybody knew more details about this.

There aren't any buildings downtown with subway station shells in them are there?

Edit: Also I should further clarify, not referring to that old train tunnel that runs beneath elm (or whichever street it runs under)

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 08 Apr 2018 19:58

^ Dallas city hall.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 09 Apr 2018 09:39

As far as I know, City Hall is the only building Downtown where future underground transit access was built into the structure. I believe the underground tunnel system connecting Downtown office buildings, only partially built, had plans for underground rail as well. I don't think they ever built any of those tunnels as proposed since a subway was voted down before later on Light Rail was voted as the future of DART.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Haretip » 09 Apr 2018 12:21

There is another building downtown that has a subway station shell. I can't remember which one off the top of my head, but DFWCre8tive suggests 1700 Pacific.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dfwcre8tive » 09 Apr 2018 13:01

^ That's right. 1700 Pacific has some infrastructure beneath, since the plaza was always planned to be a transit center with integrated bus shelters (and 1700 Pacific was required to keep it so). The "future station" at Ross/Pearl shows connections to the buildings on that corner, but I doubt anything was built into those structures. It also shows how the pedway was meant to extend and connect as part of the downtown transportation system, instead of stand alone as it does today.

I took a photo of some plans in the archives at Thanks-Giving Square showing proposed subway connections. Many more are not scanned/photographed.

30121124_923059061546_585190450_n.jpg

IMG_4268.jpg

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 09 Apr 2018 15:09

Is it too much to hope that enthusiastic partnerships will extend TRE to Kaufman County, using that subway plan?

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dzh
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dzh » 09 Apr 2018 22:17

Are there any urban explorers out there that think they can get into any of these places? And if so, can provide pictures...

Also if parts of the infrastructure are already place, why wouldn't they think of connecting the existing DART along these paths as part of the D2 expansion?

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dfwcre8tive » 09 Apr 2018 23:42

dzh wrote:Are there any urban explorers out there that think they can get into any of these places? And if so, can provide pictures...

Also if parts of the infrastructure are already place, why wouldn't they think of connecting the existing DART along these paths as part of the D2 expansion?


The tunnel under City Hall was considered as one of the candidates for D2, but that was before it was changed to a surface route on Young Street to save money. As for 1700 Pacific, I imagine there's not much infrastructure in place except for strategically-placed columns and shells of hallways for future development.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 09 Apr 2018 23:53

tamtagon wrote:Is it too much to hope that enthusiastic partnerships will extend TRE to Kaufman County, using that subway plan?

DART is not going to extend the TRE into Kaufman County anytime soon.
First, no city in Kaufman County pays DART sales taxes.
Second, even if the entire county paid DART a full penny sales tax, it would generate less than $4 million per year.
Last year, per https://comptroller.texas.gov/transpare ... sales-tax/

Kaufman Co Dev Dist
Rate 0.500% Prior Year Payment $21,385.34
The City of Kaufman collected $862,136.16,
and the City of Terrell collected $2,752,971.28 in sales taxes.

Doubling the County's and assuming both cities are only charging penny now and have another full penny available; the best case scenario; the total sales taxes they could generate for DART would be $3,657,777.

Math = 21,385 + 21,385 + 862,136 + 2,752,971 = 3,657,777

$3.6 million isn't enough funding to support commuter train operations.

Take a look at DCTA yearly budget for comparison purposes....
https://www.dcta.net/images/uploads/con ... 18-Web.pdf
Rail Services total $21,071,075
Fuel budgeted at $2.75 per gallon in FY18 @ 400,000 gallons
Math = 2.75 x 400,000 = 1,100,000

DCTA trains run 21 miles between Denton and Carrollton. Forney to downtown Dallas is 21 miles by US-80. So the length of the railroad corridor would be approximately the same - if the train stopped in Forney and didn't go all the way to Kaufman. It's 33 miles to reach Kauffman.

$21 million is 5 and 3/4ths times more than what Kaufman County can fund with a full penny sales tax. And that's just O&M budget for DCTA rail operations, that didn't include any capital costs for construction.....

To get a commuter train to Terrell, people in Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant Counties will have to pay the bills, money they would rather spend in their own counties and not in Kaufman.
Math = 21,071,075 / 3,657,777 = 5.76

Terrell would be better off building a small train station for Amtrak's Texas Eagle to use, then lobby Amtrak very hard to stop at it. ;)

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby northsouth » 09 Apr 2018 23:57

Which transit plan was this a part of? I've seen (actually I saved them off the old forum) maps for the much more complex downtown alignments for the 1983 DART plan, so is this for one of the more pared-down plans after the bond election failed? The buildings included on the maps seem to imply so, but they could've been added after the fact.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 13 Apr 2018 06:56

I thought I'll show you what is really required to have an express train service. Here's mostly a rear window 40 minute video from White Plains to Grand Central in New York City. The cameraman moves to the back of the train around 7 and a half minutes. Pay close attention to the number of tracks, and how three and four tracks run through and around stations to make the express train you would be riding on work in the real world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Kv5EtTEo0

FYI, White Plains to Grand Central is 22.3 miles, about 10 miles shorter than the distance between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 07 May 2018 19:06

Image
https://www.gopass.org/

I know some sort of 'tap to pay' system was being discussion on this forum not too long ago, but sounds like it will be a reality sometime this year?

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby jrd1964 » 08 May 2018 01:28

DPatel304 wrote:Image
https://www.gopass.org/

I know some sort of 'tap to pay' system was being discussion on this forum not too long ago, but sounds like it will be a reality sometime this year?


Most stations and buses already have the terminals riders will use to wave the cards in front of, but no definite word on when the new card service will start (the fare structure changes in August--maybe then?), or where the cards will be sold. Other than the DART store downtown, maybe grocery stores or 7-Eleven, or something similar?

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 08 May 2018 08:44

I use the GoPass app and that website says it's launching a new version of the app on May 14th so I assume I will be able to use my phone to tap pay now.

Currently, I just buy a month-long pass so I wonder if that will change in any significant way. Currently, I simply show the green ticket screen to the driver and he marks it down. Easily foiled as there is no authentication process and could be faked by simply showing a video at full screen to drivers who don't have time to fiddle with checking. I imagine I may have to start tapping just so they can authenticate my ticket and track usage data which would be much better for DART anyway. Also, I don't expect a bunch of people are faking their tickets based on their ridership numbers and the type of riders they attract to monthly passes so it's kinda a moot point.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 11 May 2018 14:51

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Easily foiled as there is no authentication process and could be faked by simply showing a video at full screen to drivers who don't have time to fiddle with checking. I imagine I may have to start tapping just so they can authenticate my ticket and track usage data which would be much better for DART anyway. Also, I don't expect a bunch of people are faking their tickets based on their ridership numbers and the type of riders they attract to monthly passes so it's kinda a moot point.


Any system can be foiled given enough work. The deterrent to something like the scheme you point out is, when an officer asks you to tap the screen and it becomes clear you don't have a real ticket, the crime isn't "not showing a valid fare", it's something along the lines of willful intent to defraud. That's not an administrative fine, that's quite possibly an arrest.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby lakewoodhobo » 15 May 2018 13:08

The new GoPass App is out now, and so far it looks like a huge improvement. My 30-day pass transferred seamlessly to the new version and I can now see busses and trains moving on the map in real time. Also looking forward to paying with Touch ID.

Good job, DART.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby jrd1964 » 01 Jun 2018 13:50

"The Woman's Guide to Surviving DART"

https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/ ... ving-dart/

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 01 Jun 2018 15:34

I must look really shady (and my kids too) because 50% of the time I ride they check my tickets. However, that's probably because my ride is typically longer than 2-4 stations downtown. Article shows that DART policing is really set up to catch commuter shenanigans, not downtowners joy-riding for a few stops.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 04 Jun 2018 14:03

lakewoodhobo wrote:The new GoPass App is out now, and so far it looks like a huge improvement. My 30-day pass transferred seamlessly to the new version and I can now see busses and trains moving on the map in real time. Also looking forward to paying with Touch ID.

Good job, DART.

IMG_6532.jpg


What is interesting is I can only see one bus and I can see all the trains moving in real time. What I need to be able to see bus number 39 which is what I ride which used to work 6 months ago on the old app. It stopped working and now with the new app I don't see any buses so I wonder whats up.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dallaz » 25 Jun 2018 08:57

Two underground Dallas subway stations that are all but forgotten. Curious Texas digs for answers

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/rea ... gs-answers

The DART train doesn't stop at the Knox Street station.

It never did.

But back in the early 1990s when DART was starting its light rail system, an underground station was planned at Knox Street and North Central Expressway.

Robyn Kirk of Dallas asked Curious Texas if the regional transit system ever intends to complete the Knox Street station.

Currently there are no plans.

Her question caught the attention of Curious Texas, the ongoing project from The Dallas Morning News that invites you to put our reporters on the hunt of information. The idea is simple: You have questions, and our journalists track down answers.

The Knox Street station was one of two subway stops planned on the DART line between downtown and Mockingbird Station.

While the CityPlace/Uptown station was built, Knox Street would up just being a hole in the ground.

After neighborhood groups near Knox and Henderson Avenue protested construction of the Knox Station, DART officials agreed to delete the planned stop.

DART construction crews excavated a cavern that to house the Knox Station, but they never built out the station.

In 1999 a developer planning an office high-rise at Knox and North Central looked at completing the Knox subway stop, but plans for the project never got on track. And the money has never been available to do the construction.

The unbuilt Knox Street station is one of two underground train depots in Dallas that were abandoned.

Clair Crossland of Dallas asked Curious Texas about another unfinished subway station — this one downtown. She asked if a building on Pacific Street was required to have a multilevel sub-basement intended to be a DART subway station.

When developers planned downtown's 49-story 1700 Pacific skyscraper in the early 1980s, they constructed an underground chamber to house a subway station.

Back then the DART rail line through downtown was proposed as an underground route along Pacific Avenue. So the Canadian developer building 1700 Pacific — then called First City Centre — constructed an underground vault at Ervay Street and Pacific to house the station.

The builders contributed the huge underground chamber in return for the closure of a street through part of the block and other zoning concessions.

But DART's downtown line ended up on the surface a block away on Bryan Street.

And the underground station at 1700 Pacific is all but forgotten.

Owners of the skyscraper say the entrance is still covered by a metal trap door in the basement of the office tower.

"Maybe DART will add the planned route someday," Crossland said.

Plans for a second downtown DART line call for a subway on the south side of financial district.

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exelone31
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby exelone31 » 25 Jun 2018 11:32

After neighborhood groups near Knox and Henderson Avenue protested construction of the Knox Station, DART officials agreed to delete the planned stop.


Some things never change...

cowboyeagle05
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 25 Jun 2018 12:25

Yet now it will never happen because to build it would mean shutting down the red and blue lines for months to build out the station. The neighborhood and developers wish it was there now though.

For DART and the neighborhood, it makes more sense to fund the streetcar extension to Knox Henderson than to try to build out the station.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 25 Jun 2018 13:05

"A handful of people wish it was there now though."

TIFIFY. :-)

If you took a poll of the folks who actually live in my neighborhood (Deep Ellum) you would find overwhelming support for closing the two Green Line stations due to the crime it brings and traffic congestion it causes.

About a week ago I saw a fire truck and MICU on an emergency run from Station 3 stuck on Malcolm X for 2 to 3 minutes because a train driver at the station had hit the button to lower the crossing gate, then got out of the train and walked to the other end of the train. They love to close the gates long before they leave the station. I see ambulances going to Baylor stuck on Hall Street all the time.

cowboyeagle05
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 25 Jun 2018 13:34

Hannibal Lecter wrote:"A handful of people wish it was there now though."

TIFIFY. :-)

If you took a poll of the folks who actually live in my neighborhood (Deep Ellum) you would find overwhelming support for closing the two Green Line stations due to the crime it brings and traffic congestion it causes.

About a week ago I saw a fire truck and MICU on an emergency run from Station 3 stuck on Malcolm X for 2 to 3 minutes because a train driver at the station had hit the button to lower the crossing gate, then got out of the train and walked to the other end of the train. They love to close the gates long before they leave the station. I see ambulances going to Baylor stuck on Hall Street all the time.


When I run into those people you speak of I'll consider my opinions but for now, I'll remain supporting mass transit despite your claims its brought down the moral unity of civilization.

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Redblock
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Redblock » 25 Jun 2018 16:26

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Yet now it will never happen because to build it would mean shutting down the red and blue lines for months to build out the station. The neighborhood and developers wish it was there now though.

For DART and the neighborhood, it makes more sense to fund the streetcar extension to Knox Henderson than to try to build out the station.


It is quite logical to assume that a station cannot be finished-out while trains are using the tunnels at full speed. But that is what happened with Cityplace station. DART made a deal with 7-11 (Cityplace) to pay for the finish-out during construction. Then 7-11 asked for a 2 yr (?) delay because of the poor economy. So it was several years after the tunnels were in use before Cityplace station was opened.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 25 Jun 2018 16:30

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Yet now it will never happen because to build it would mean shutting down the red and blue lines for months to build out the station. The neighborhood and developers wish it was there now though.

For DART and the neighborhood, it makes more sense to fund the streetcar extension to Knox Henderson than to try to build out the station.


It's interesting how the layman's assessment on the difficulty of building out K-H (where there's already a tunnel and station cut-out) differs from the assessment on the difficulty of a subway alignment for D2 (which would require new cut & cover tunnels through a significant swath of downtown).

From my reading on the history of the London Underground, they've frequently built/renovated new deep tube stations without impacting through-running trains, all with higher labor costs and more confined surroundings than what currently exists at K-H & 75. This isn't to say the costs wouldn't be high, but my suspicion is that DART's estimates for building out K-H are less tied to cost and more about throwing out a sufficiently large number as to quash any cost/benefit calculation for outside (read: Federal) funding. I'm sure if some benefactor or association came up with the $100 million or whatever the estimate is up to now, DART would gladly take it, spend a portion to build K-H, and pocket the rest.

Between this and Matt777's proposed streetcar plan, I think DART could manage both for less than the additional costs of a fully underground D2. There's even enough left over for the DART board to take a field trip to Portland or Denver to see how street-level LRT can work.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 26 Jun 2018 02:57

TNWE wrote:Between this and Matt777's proposed streetcar plan, I think DART could manage both for less than the additional costs of a fully underground D2. There's even enough left over for the DART board to take a field trip to Portland or Denver to see how street-level LRT can work.

The DART board wouldn't have to fly to Portland or Denver to see how a street level LRT can work. There's the mall downtown right outside DART's headquarters building, there's Lancaster Road Blue Line segments, and there's the Orange Line segment in Irving's Las Colinas area where DART runs light rail trains within city streets.

But here's the rub, the streets are not owned by DART, they are owned by the cities. And if the city doesn't want light rail trains in specific streets, there will not be light rail in them. The City of Dallas wants the subway for D2 downtown, so it's a D2 subway or bust.

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 26 Jun 2018 09:14

electricron wrote:The DART board wouldn't have to fly to Portland or Denver to see how a street level LRT can work. There's the mall downtown right outside DART's headquarters building, there's Lancaster Road Blue Line segments, and there's the Orange Line segment in Irving's Las Colinas area where DART runs light rail trains within city streets.

But here's the rub, the streets are not owned by DART, they are owned by the cities. And if the city doesn't want light rail trains in specific streets, there will not be light rail in them. The City of Dallas wants the subway for D2 downtown, so it's a D2 subway or bust.


Yes, we have plenty of street-level LRT here, but the general attitude is that *not* having a subway alignment is what's holding Dallas transit back, and not the myriad of other factors that could be addressed with a fraction of the money being directed towards tunneling. Hence why I suggested a field trip to a city that prioritizes getting people where they need to go over shiny objects.

As for the City of Dallas' position, they don't exactly have a stellar history of transportation-related planning. With the current batch of anti-car grifters calling the shots, it seems a bit curious that they are suddenly concerned about the impact of street-level LRT on auto traffic in downtown. Maybe if Dallas' DART board members were shaking cups on Elm street to raise the funds, I'd be less bothered. But as it stands, they're just shysters spending other people's money on their pet projects.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 26 Jun 2018 12:54

I think it has more to do with the battle of Dallas VS the burbs.

Somewhere along the way, DART got more concerned with getting Plano and Addison to DFW Airport. The Dallas city council saw the D2 segment getting pushed further and further down the line and didn't want to wait another 20 years for transit growth in the inner city so DART could build an express route to the airport for what can come across as two suburbs. The underground vs street level part was a part of what came across as more proof of DART being more concerned with suburban transportation than the city of Dallas transit needs. The Dallas city council wanted to force DART to pay attention and spend what they perceived as appropriate funds and attention to inner city transit needs.

Honestly, this has been DART biggest issue, well next to a terrible bus system. DART can see Dallas and the burbs as equal players on the field and try to add major projects that don't always appear to serve all the players. Dallas for awhile has played along as just another suburb by not trying to force more Dallas focused improvements. We obviously are the center in a wheel and spoke LRT system DART has been building out for decades so Dallas is still the biggest winner but like any child, we want more. The burbs certainly have plenty of economic will to hold DART to the fire on their needs as well. The reality that places like Legacy serves just as many employees as Downtown Dallas is a hard one to balance for DART when playing the local politics chess game. If we build Cotton Belt line will we have the flexibility to open new routes like streetcars or will DART be stuck trying to take care of too many babies screaming for transit attention all over the DART service area?

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TNWE
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby TNWE » 26 Jun 2018 15:47

cowboyeagle05 wrote:I think it has more to do with the battle of Dallas VS the burbs.

Somewhere along the way, DART got more concerned with getting Plano and Addison to DFW Airport. The Dallas city council saw the D2 segment getting pushed further and further down the line and didn't want to wait another 20 years for transit growth in the inner city so DART could build an express route to the airport for what can come across as two suburbs. The underground vs street level part was a part of what came across as more proof of DART being more concerned with suburban transportation than the city of Dallas transit needs. The Dallas city council wanted to force DART to pay attention and spend what they perceived as appropriate funds and attention to inner city transit needs.


If D2 was plotted out in a way that connected new and meaningful areas to the LRT network, I couldn't argue with the City of Dallas, but as it stands, D2 is a largely duplicative line that only accomplishes one thing - getting Orange and Green Line trains from one end of Downtown to the other with fewer delays. Sure, there's benefit to redundancy and reduced congestion, but "Transit growth for the inner city" it is not- none of the new stations are more than a few blocks from an existing one. If TxDOT were proposing to build a new underground freeway connecting I-35 at Victory with I-345 at Pacific, the very same people who demanded the D2 subway would be rioting with pitchforks, even though such a hypothetical freeway would functionally serve the same role as D2- extra capacity that mainly benefits suburbanites and those passing through, with nothing to enhance or improve transit for downtown dwellers. Some might even be worse off if their previously single-seat ride now requires a connection or longer walk (a non-trivial consideration with Dallas summers).
cowboyeagle05 wrote:Honestly, this has been DART biggest issue, well next to a terrible bus system. DART can see Dallas and the burbs as equal players on the field and try to add major projects that don't always appear to serve all the players. Dallas for awhile has played along as just another suburb by not trying to force more Dallas focused improvements. We obviously are the center in a wheel and spoke LRT system DART has been building out for decades so Dallas is still the biggest winner but like any child, we want more. The burbs certainly have plenty of economic will to hold DART to the fire on their needs as well. The reality that places like Legacy serves just as many employees as Downtown Dallas is a hard one to balance for DART when playing the local politics chess game. If we build Cotton Belt line will we have the flexibility to open new routes like streetcars or will DART be stuck trying to take care of too many babies screaming for transit attention all over the DART service area?


You're absolutely correct that Dallas is the big winner in the DART service lottery, which is fair considering it's sales tax contributions, but makes less sense when, as you note, so many employment centers are outside of the city core. Letting the screaming babies at Marilla street hijack a project that (in DART's original vision) would have delivered redundancy, capacity, *and* new stations in the southern part of Downtown is folly, since they decided to turn it into a "Dallas vs. The Burbs" fight by demanding a project that amounts to duplicating West End, Akard and Pearl stations, just underground and 3 blocks over, with a $1.2 Billion price tag.

This forum is full of creative people who have great ideas about how DART/Dallas could lay out a useful, effective Bus or Streetcar system that serves lots of people inside Loop 12. What I don't understand is why they're lining up to support a handful of demagogues who are forcing DART to borrow and spend every dime they realistically have on three subway stations, all in the name of "Sticking it to the suburbs." There are better, more impactful ways to spend $1.2 Billion besides a "look at us, we're a big city" subway for Dallas's insecure city council and DART board members...

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 26 Jun 2018 17:02

TNWE wrote:There are better, more impactful ways to spend $1.2 Billion besides a "look at us, we're a big city" subway for Dallas's insecure city council and DART board members...

As long as city councils appoint DART board members, and as long as insecure citizens vote for city council members, local politics over rail expansion will win over running a more efficient transit agency. Let’s face some truths, citizens are more interested in having fancy construction projects than they are of a more efficient transit agency.

The only guarantee way to change the voters attitudes is for the fares charged to ride the buses and trains actually reflects the cost to provide the service. Only then will the voters be more interested in having a more efficient transit system!


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