Media Relations Contact:
Mark A. Ball
March 8, 2011
New schedule effective April 11
More rush hour light rail trips in the works
DART is developing plans to have more frequent light rail trips on the Red Line North/Orange Line to create space for current customers and make room for new ones looking for an alternative to skyrocketing gasoline prices.
The changes mean customers departing Red Line stations north of downtown Dallas in the morning, like Parker Road or Arapaho, will have more train trips to choose from. At the same time, customers leaving downtown Dallas in the afternoon to return to those stations or others like Mockingbird or Bush Turnpike on the Red Line, will have more frequent service too.
The new schedule starts April 11 and increases rush hour capacity 28 percent during morning and afternoon rush hours. By comparison, rush hour ridership increased 15 percent during the peak gasoline prices of 2008. The capacity will be increased by adding more frequent service over longer periods of time; creating more 7.5-minute departures instead of the current 15-minute departures. Four trips will be added during morning rush and six during the afternoon rush.
The departure frequency, or headway, was increased in December as a cost-cutting measure and to match ridership demand. There are no plans to increase capacity on Red Line South, Blue Line or Green Line trains based on current and projected ridership. No bus routes are presently experiencing excessive loads, but staff is continuing to monitor ridership and will make adjustments as needed.
The increased Red Line North frequency was planned for implementation with the opening of the Orange Line to Irving in 2012.
The rail service changes will require adjustments to all Red Line trips as well as some Blue and Green line trips. Some connecting bus routes may also have minor adjustments. New timetables and station information will be produced reflecting the new schedules. Customers will also be able to receive the updated schedule information online at www.DART.org.
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