When Dallas Area Rapid Transit completes the Green Line by year's end, it anticipates making dozens of changes to its bus service, among them: discontinuing service to the Bachman Lake area, shifting downtown pick-up points and on and on and on. In short, it's a serious overhaul intended to reduce "costly duplications" affecting Northwest Dallas, Lake Highlands, Oak Cliff and beyond. Which is why DART, beginning tonight through March 23, is holding a series of town hall meetings during which officials will address the alterations -- can't say they didn't warn you, right?
And if you see a change you don't like, well, you can always drop DART a comment card. This morning, I asked DART spokesman Mark Ball how much weight those comment cards will carry. He said, in short, Plenty. He cited an issue last year in southeast Plano that got so much attention from residents DART stopped plans to delete a route and wound up adding two and creating FLEX service, which allows residents to call for pick-up in low-ridership areas. "This is all part of regional emphasis as we expand Green Line to the northwest and try not to duplicate services," Ball says.
On a related note, DART spokesman Morgan Lyons sent the stats for light-rail ridership during NBA All-Star Weekend, for which DART expanded service till the wee small hours at the last minute. Writes Lyons via e-mail: "We provided about 14,000 DART Rail trips during the All Star Weekend (Weds-Sat). During the late night/early morning trains on Friday and Saturday it was about 400."