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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


DART Pioneering Ecological Transportation

Dallas-Fort Worth is the fastest growing, fourth largest and fifth most congested metro area in the country. As population has increased, so has pollution, and it will take small sacrifices on everyone’s part to change this. An important part of the "go green" movement is public transit, and Dallas Area Regional Transit (DART) helps commuters curb pollution. By riding instead of driving, commuters not only help the environment, they also limit wear and tear on their cars, lower auto expenses and eliminate the stress of stop-and-go driving.

DART's clean fuel technology program is leading the way in the transit industry. The agency invested $25 million to cut bus emissions by 68 percent over the past decade, and up to 452 advanced-technology buses will be delivered starting in 2013, reducing current fleet nitrogen oxide emissions, a precursor to ozone pollution, by at least 90 percent.

DART recently expanded its HOV lane network to 84 miles. Designated for buses, vanpools, carpools with two or more occupants as well as motorcycles, these lanes reduce pollutant emissions by more than 5,000 pounds each weekday. The new, 28-mile DART Rail Green Line will reduce smog-causing vehicle emissions by more than 350 tons annually by 2025 and DART's Vanpool program now boasts more than 1,500 participants.

DART is a founding member of the North Texas Clean Air Coalition, a group which encourages voluntary efforts to improve air quality in our region by educating, motivating and recognizing the business community. DART supports the NTCAC in many ways, from participating in the group's annual efforts like to informing businesses about the benefits of employer-sponsored commute options.

By bus or by train, DART is a greener way to go. DART's 135 light-rail trains have the same emissions as a golf cart. Its 658 clean-fuel buses use 8.7 percent less energy per passenger mile than a typical car, while a train uses up to 23.7 percent less. According to the American Public Transit Association, the typical household using public transit saves more than $9,000 per year.

Thanks to a $770,000 grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, DART has installed bike racks on more than 550 buses. This grant is also funding additional bike lockers at rail stations and transit centers.

DART recycles all antifreeze and cleaning solvents. All buses are washed using recycled water to reduce water usage and the water used is then diverted into a sanitary sewer system. In addition, DART utilizes a scrap metal recovery program to make the most of its resources.

DART abides by the water restrictions set forth by its member cities during summer months. The agency has upgraded its site irrigation controllers to models that provide environmentally sensitive operation. The units are programmable and offer remote monitoring capability. DART has planted many drought-tolerant plants, in an effort to help conserve even more water during the hot Texas summers.

For more information call 214-749-3295 or email [email protected]

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