DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is reacting to rising gasoline prices by moving up a plan to increase the number of light rail trains running on the Red Line, to and from Collin County.
DART spokesperson Mark Ball says the decision is based on the ridership numbers they saw when gas was around $4 a gallon in 2008.
“At that time we saw a large increase, approximately 15-percent increase, on the DART Rail line,” he explained.
Ridership dropped when gas prices fell below $3 a gallon, but with prices soaring again, the agency felt it was the time to move up the Collin County plan. “This new schedule, we’re gonna start on April 11, will increase our rush hour capacity to 28-percent. So we are making more room,” said Ball.
The plan to increase the number of Collin County trains wasn’t supposed to be implemented until 2012.
DART officials say the additional trains will cut wait times in half at the Collin County Parker Road station. “This additional frequency will provide Red Line and Orange Line service going north, downtown, to every 7 ½ minutes during peak hours,” said Ball.
To help increase revenue there are also plans in the works to charge for parking at both the Carrollton/Frankford and Parker Road light rail stations.