DART made several changes to its service on Oct. 13, 2019. All changes for this major service change were cost-neutral. Because of this, DART had to eliminate, or shift, resources from underutilized services to better serve riders in other areas.
DART simplified the one-way loop along Army Post Road on Local Route 8 – Fleur Drive. These changes mean the route does not change direction based on the time of day, and instead travels in the same direction all-day long.
This makes the route easier for riders to understand, and eliminates the safety concern of buses making a left turn onto Fleur Drive at an uncontrolled intersection. No changes were made to schedules for this route as part of this service change.
DART created Local Route 10 in 2016 as a partnership with Broadlawns Medical Center to provide all day service to its East University Clinic. Previously, there was an extension of Route 1 that traveled along East University to Pleasant Hill during peak hours only.
After several years in service, ridership along Route 10 did not meet DART’s service standards. Therefore, DART discontinued Route 10 midday service, essentially returning service to the level it was at prior to the partnership with Broadlawns. Route 10 operates with the same alignment and schedule during the peak hours.
DART conducted a Title VI Service Equity Analysis as part of the public input and planning process for the October 2019 service change. This analysis did find that Route 10 does serve a population with a significantly higher percentage of minority residents when compared to the DART system as a whole. Because of this, the reduction of midday service could have a disparate impact on minority residents.
The DART Board of Commissioners considered these findings in its meeting on July 9. 2019. Ultimately, plans to remove midday trips on Local Route 10 was approved because the midday ridership levels were so low, DART could not justify removing resources from another route to retain these trips. We also could not identify a new business or institution along the route to partner with to cover the cost of continuing midday service.
DART extended Local Route 11 to travel to the Deer Ridge Apartment Complex. This allowed DART to discontinue service on the Deer Ridge Shuttle and gives residents of the apartment complex and nearby businesses weekday transit access.
The change reduced frequency on Local Route 11, but does provide service for a longer span of time each weekday.
DART changed schedules for Local Route 14 to adjust the time between buses to 40 minutes during peak travel times. Buses changed to hourly frequency after 6:15 p.m.
DART made routing changes to Local Route 52 to help to reduce rider confusion about where to board buses and improve efficiency on the route. DART now operates service along the same route, all-day long. Inefficient portions of the route were eliminated. The route services University Avenue between 22nd and 31st St, instead of Westown Parkway.
After receiving feedback on plans to remove a larger loop of Local Route 52 that traveled into the Wells Fargo and Athene Campuses, as well as along Mills Civic Parkway, DART adjusted routing to better meet rider needs. Because of feedback from Wells Fargo employees, DART retained a smaller loop of the east side of the Wells Fargo Jordan Creek campus on select trips. The route does not travel to the Athene Campus, or along Mills Civic Parkway.
DART discontinued service on Flex Route 73 and replaced it with Flex Connect, a pilot project featuring on-demand service. Previously, Route 73 operated during peak travel commute times on weekdays, connecting residents to the Gloria Dei and Buccaneer Arena Park & Ride stops. The service had very low ridership, which is why DART opted to replace service with a new, innovative on-demand model that increased the amount of service available at a lower cost.
The Flex Connect pilot allowed DART to partner Uber and Yellow Cab taxi service to provide service within the Flex Connect zone. Flex Connect trips must start and end within the zone; with the starting point or ending point being one of the three designated transfer points within the zone: Gloria Dei Park & Ride, Buccaneer Arena Park & Ride or Merle Hay Mall. From these transfer points riders can connect to DART buses via routes 5, 14, 16, 50, 92 or 93. The service operates Monday – Friday, from 5:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. DART subsidizes 100 percent of the Flex Connect ride through the duration of the pilot program.
Flex Connect was designed to ensure that there are options to accommodate people requiring a vehicle with a ramp or lift, customers who can not, or choose not to, pay by credit card, or people without smart phones or those who wish to book a trip over the phone. The pilot nature of the program allows DART to adjust the service as necessary to meet customers' needs.
Learn more at ridedart.com/flexconnect.
Riders with questions about this service change, or DART's public input process are encouraged to reach out to DART staff via email, or by calling DART Customer Service at 515-283-8100.