A Look at Some of DART's "Creative Concepts for Revenue Generation"

We've already established this much: Dallas Area Rapid Transit, facing an "anticipated sales tax shortfall" this fiscal year, needs money -- pronto. So, with that in mind, we take a look at today's meeting agenda for the DART board's revenue committee: "Creative Concepts for Revenue Generation." Such as? Well, we touched on one a while back: leasing DART-owned properties to developers, a la Cityville's proposed complex in a Mockingbird Station parking lot. And the just-posted recap of last month's meeting provides some more clues, among them wrapping trains in ads just like buses and placing digital advertising boards along the Green Line -- which, says Dennis Mochon, DART's assistant vice president of marketing and advertising, would generate "four to five times" more revenue than traditional billboards. Only, DART president Gary Thomas isn't sure the city will allow 'em.

But there is something DART can do without the city's OK: "DART Radio" and Wi-Fi. Why not Wi-Fi, asks board member William Velasco -- after all, Amtrak just added it to trains in the Northeast, so why not DART trains and the Trinity Railway Express too? (New York's commuter rail lines are also close to going Wi-Fi.) And, while DART's at it, how about adding satellite radio on some buses? I believe it was Steve Dunne who first said, "If you give people a reason to get out of their cars -- coffee, great music -- they will park and ride."

Then there's the suggestion that would "offer young entrepreneurs an opportunity to use DART bus shelters as a venue for their start up operations." And ... my work is done here.

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