DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Area Rapid Transit reached a major milestone on Monday morning, welcoming its 250 millionth rail rider. DART officials surprised unsuspecting passenger Don Johnson from DeSoto at Union Station in downtown Dallas. He was greeted with a gift bag and a $100 gift card from DART executives — and a collection of waiting television cameras.
Johnson started riding the rail 10 years ago, commuting to Richardson each morning for work. He said that high gas prices forced him to seek out another method of transportation. But he never expected to be rewarded like this for riding the DART rail. Johnson said that he represents all of the passengers who have taken the rail since it opened back in 1996. “I ride with the same people almost every morning,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of like a family, so it’s pretty cool.”
The DART rail opened with just 11 miles of track. There are now 72 miles of track, with continued expansion being planned. An additional 19 miles of track will open within the next few years.
The rider milestone coincides with the annual rail conference. Industry experts from around the world are in Dallas on Monday for that event.
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