July 23, 2016: A Visit to The Modern & Kimbell Museums in Fort Worth
June 13-15, 2016: A Visit with Jeffie in North Carolina
Return to the Index for 2016


July 5, 2016
An Excursion on DART


 

Yesterday, Fred and I, along with Mario and Steve, met at Lou's house for some supper. Then we walked from Lou's house to the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) light-rail station just a block away. We took the light rail to Fair Park to watch the Dallas City Fireworks Display for the Fourth of July. When we purchased our tickets, we got all-day passes- $2.50 for seniors. That evening, I thought that since I had what I thought was a 24-hour ticket, and since Fred would be heading to his Mother's house the next day anyway, that I would take my ticket down to the Inwood Station about eight blocks south of me and ride the light rail out to DFW Airport. I had not done that yet, and wanted to see what it was like. That one ride turned into the better part of an all-day excursion, but more about that in a moment.

 

Documenting DART Light Rail

I did some research the evening of July 4th after we returned home from Lou's house, and one interesting fact I discovered is that each light rail station is unique; each one is decorated differently, or built in a different style. So I thought that one thing I might do on the way out to the airport would be to hop off the train when it came to each station and take a picture of that station. Then I could put them together in a little compendium of the different station designs.

So, at a minimum, I took a single picture of each DART Light Rail station from the Inwood Station, where I began, out to the terminus of the Orange Line at DFW Airport. I took other pictures, too, some as the train was in motion, others when it was at a station. I also took the occasional movie (which will allow you to see firsthand what our DART Rail is like.

Now, Fred and I rode on DART Rail a while back, going up to the end of the Green Line and back. I forget why we did that, but this wouldn't be my first time on the DART Rail. When I returned from the airport on the Orange Line, I thought that since I had the time and had the ticket, that I would document the Green Line in the same way. So I switched lines and rode the Green Line all the way to its northern end, then all the way to its southern end, and then finally back to the Inwood Station where my odyssey ended. At some point, I plan to ride the other two lines- the Blue Line and the Red Line- end to end, and document their stations in the same way. Even though the Orange Line has other stations on it, none of them are unique to that Line- except for the stations on the way out to the airport. So, once I document the Blue and Red Lines, my photographic record will be complete.

Here is a copy of the official DART Light Rail Route Map (the map is quite large, so its in a scrollable window):

You can follow my progress on this map if you wish, although I will be providing little extracts of this map further along during today's excursion.

One thing I might mention is that when I began my trip, and I was sitting on the platform at the Inwood Station waiting for either a Green Line or an Orange Line train to the Bachman Station (the last transfer station before the Orange Line begins its run out to the airport), I happened to look closely at my ticket. I had thought that they were 24-hour passes from the time of purchase, but that was not so. All tickets purchased on a particular day expire at 3AM on the following day; I suppose this makes it easier when someone is checking tickets. So my ticket was expired already, but since I'd already planned the outing, and since $2.50 is pretty cheap, I went back downstairs to the ticket machine to purchase another.

Unlike the New York Subway, or BART in San Francisco, or the Metro in Washington, the Dallas Light Rail stations are open; there are no turnstiles or other impediments to keep someone from just hopping on a train with no ticket. So, you might think that an agent on each train would check them, but that turns out to be impractical; the cost in manpower alone would make it necessary to double the ticket price- or more. And trying to check everyone's tickets at rush hour would not be impractical, it would be impossible. So, DART has opted for random checks, and stiff penalties if you are caught without a valid ticket. The ticket price is low enough that few people would risk the fine. Having said all that, I should mention that in the five or six times I have ridden DART Rail, including today's odyssey that lasted over three hours, I have never once been asked to produce my ticket. What that should tell you is that DART relies on the honesty of its riders- at least on the light rail.

I took a great many pictures and quite a few movies today, and I have found that putting them all on a single album page has resulted in a page that is unwieldy for the reader and which may take too long to load. So I have broken up today's excursion into this introductory page and three more subsequent ones. There are links below to these three pages. You can simply start with the first one or, if you are picking up where you have left off, choose one of the others.

The Orange Line: Bachman Station to DFW Airport Station

The Green Line: Inwood Station to North Carrollton/Frankford Station

The Green Line: Inwood Station to Buckner Station

 

If you would prefer to continue to another photo album page, however, just use one of the links at the top or bottom of this page.



July 23, 2016: A Visit to The Modern & Kimbell Museums in Fort Worth
June 13-15, 2016: A Visit with Jeffie in North Carolina
Return to the Index for 2016