Dallas, TX – There are more DART trains on the Red Line for the morning and evening commute today. KERA's BJ Austin says more people are riding light rail as gas prices rise.
Mark Ball, with DART, says they're seeing bigger crowds in the rail cars on the Red Line between downtown Dallas and the Parker Road Station in Plano. So, they're adding trains.
Ball: If you take the Red Line heading south into Dallas currently in the morning, a new train approaches every 7 1/2 minutes during that morning rush. And then at night, to get you home, when everyone was trying to leave at the same time we saw that the Red Line was rather crowded. So, we're going to now have 7 departures rather than 15 minute departures on the Red Line heading north, back to the Parker Road Station. And that's approximately six new trains we'll be adding.
Ball says this change on DART's most heavily traveled rail line will add 28% more capacity. He says rail ridership rose nearly 20% in 2008, when gasoline prices peaked at four dollars a gallon. DART officials intended to make this change a year from now when the Orange Line to Irving opened. But Ball says rising gasoline prices prompted them to do it a year ahead of schedule.