Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Are the Southern Sector Suburbs ready to jump on DART's bus offer?

It looks like a presentation was made to the DART Board of Directors about cities like Grand Prairie, Duncanville and DeSoto ready to contribute 1/4 of a cent to join the agency for bus service only. Wait a minute,that might not be quite the truth. It was stated in The Dallas Morning News that Duncanville City Manager Kent Cagle said his city, Cedar Hill and DeSoto have approached DART together about the possibility of the agency providing on-demand bus rides for senior citizens. He also said that his city never expressed any interest in paying for a commuter bus service along the lines that animated the discussion at Tuesday' DART board meeting. And in Grand Prairie, City Manager Tom Hart said his city has had no conversations with DART officials about contracting for DART bus service.

So what is the real story? Did DART President Gary Thomas and his staff have the conversations or not? Is this another one of those steps to mislead the Board?

All types (bus,rail,para transit and HOV) of public transportation are subsidized. That means if new service is added there is a strong possibility that the 1/4 cent will not pay for the service and additional dollars will come out of the operating fund which could have an impact on future DART service plans. That is what Ray Noah was implying with his comments.

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