Leah Clausen

Good Public Transit

Good Luck Riding DART Today

An outage downtown shows, once again, how important D2 is to the future of the entire DART system

Editor’s Note, 11/14: This story ran on Tuesday. There were more problems on Wednesday. Now Thursday, DART is back in regular service.

Good luck if you’re trying to ride DART light rail home in this cold. According to the Dallas Morning News, light rail service is suspended through downtown because of a power outage. That means, essentially, that the entire DART light rail system is messed up, because every one of DART’s light rail lines runs through a single at-grade downtown transit corridor. A delay or stoppage of service in that downtown corridor means a disruption of Dallas’ entire rail system.

And it sounds like a mess:

Shuttle buses are available for travelers to complete their trips through downtown. It was unclear when train service through downtown would resume.

Service for the Orange Line was suspended between SMU/Mockingbird and Victory Park stations.

Service for the Red and Blue Lines was suspended between SMU/Mockingbird and EBJ Union stations.

Service for the Green Line was suspended between Baylor University Medical Center and Victory Park stations.

DART does have a plan to prevent this kind of situation. It’s called the D2 downtown subway extension. Progress on that project, however, has stalled while DART exhausts its borrowing capacity to build-out the Cotton Belt extension. During the planning process that pushed the Cotton Belt ahead of D2, D2 was often portrayed as a Dallas priority, while the Cotton Belt was a priority for suburban DART member cities. But D2 isn’t about an urban vs. suburban competition for expanded service; rather, it’s a project absolutely vital to keeping the entire DART system working for everyone. It’s about giving the DART system a way to bypass shutdowns like the one happening today.

Just something think about while DART riders wait out in the cold for those shuttle buses.

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