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9/24/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

DART approves FY04 budget, implements service changes


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) recently approved its $308.5 million fiscal-year 2004 operating budget — a 6 percent drop compared with FY2003’s $328.2 million budget. The agency made several reductions to overcome a $20 million shortfall resulting from declining sales-tax revenue.

DART eliminated 102 full-time, salaried positions, modified rail and bus service, and cut program-development expenses. The agency also offered a voluntary early-retirement program, froze wages and eliminated a contracted bus service.

The budget includes increased spending for the DART Police Department and paratransit services for disabled passengers. The budget also includes one-year rail-expansion delays to Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Las Colinas, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, South Dallas, Pleasant Grove and Rowlett.

On Oct. 6, DART plans to implement changes that will affect DART and Trinity Railway Express (TRE) service. The agency will increase mid-day headways to 20 minutes on the Red and Blue lines.

DART also will eliminate four weekday trains between TRE’s Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Airport Station.



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