TREC In The News

Three Takeways: TREC Talks with DART CEO Gary Thomas (Audio Replay Available)

Jun 29, 2020 | Public Policy, TREC News, TRECcast

On Tuesday, May 19, DART CEO Gary Thomas met virtually with TREC members as part of the quarterly TREC Talks event series and networking session.

During his presentation (click here to access the slides he used), Thomas gave an overview of the transit agency’s ongoing projects and initiatives as well and detailed DART’s response to COVID-19.

Here are our three biggest takeaways from the event:

Safety First
DART has implemented numerous safety precautions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Trains and buses are cleaned frequently, operators’ temperatures are taken before going on duty, and bus passenger entry/exit is limited to the rear door.

Challenging Times
DART staff is projecting a monthly drop in sales tax revenue for the next 12-to-24 months, coupled with decreased fares from less people going to work as unemployment rises.  Car ownership is expected to rise in the near term as people look to stay away from crowded places like public transit, which will put downward pressure on ridership.

Major Projects Continue
DART continues to make progress on major projects including the “Silver Line” ( a.k.a. the Cotton Belt Rail Line), the D2 subway line, and its bus program redesign. While some elements of the Silver Line are being reevaluated, utility work continues as designs are heading to 60 percent of the design-build project estimated for completion in 2022.

Rephasing options are also being evaluated for D2 to allow for more flexibility in the construction timeline with the goal of saving cash flow on the front end and keeping the overall project on schedule. Options for the east side of D2 with impacts of I-345 and Deep Ellum are still being evaluated.

You may listen to a replay of the event below, via our podcast.

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