Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officials promised members of the Dallas City Council last week to improve the bus service following years of complaints of poor service, NBC DFW reports.
The plan, called Mobility Plus by DART officials, will provide for more route changes as well as additional routes, more shelters, and improvements to the existing bus corridors.
DART officials outlined in a PowerPoint presentation some of the improvements that it was working on, including plans to expand the GoLink hours starting in January 2023, with 30 zones open between 5 a.m. and 12 a.m. every day of the week.
The Mobility Plus plan was also covered in the presentation, fleshing out its goals to improve customer service, provide enhanced bus service, and expand external funding opportunities.
Councilmember Tennell Atkins asked for a timeline on bus improvements during the meeting on October 17 of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“I want to know how much money you’ve got because you keep saying I got to wait till 2024. But, right now, I need sidewalks. Right now, I need shelters,” Atkins said.
Officials responded that the specific details are still being worked out.
After a huge overhaul of the bus service just this past January, there has been some confusion on bus routes.
Teresa Williams told NBC DFW at the West Transfer Station downtown on Monday that she now has to take a route with two buses when previously she only needed to take one bus. “Which takes longer time, and it’s stressful, confusing, and I just don’t want to travel anymore because I’m confused,” Williams said.
She said when she calls the system sometimes for clarification, it gives her the wrong information.
“For as long as I’ve been on council and certainly longer than that, we have been asking for a more robust bus service,” commented Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn.
Ridership is significantly down — just 60% of what it was before the pandemic.
Things are improving as Monday’s report indicated that missed routes are currently near zero — down from June numbers which showed that one in four bus routes were missed altogether due to driver shortage.
The purpose of the changes in January was to reduce the hub and spoke system for transfers to downtown while creating a grid network for crosstown service, but transfers are still necessary for much of the network.