December 26, 2002
Dallas rail quandary: Too many riders
The light rail system built by Dallas 20 years ago now has more riders than they know what to do with. Areas that were not originally part of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) plan are now asking for access to the system.
I'm sure we'll be hearing from Owen any minute now to explain why Dallas is nothing like Houston and all of the predictions of failure for light rail in Houston are nothing like all of the predictions of failure for light rail in Dallas.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 26, 2002 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I'm not going to say anything of the kind, Charles. I'm just going to point out that the article doesn't actually show that DART has too many riders at all. Others have already noticed this, and if you read closely, you'll find they're right.
You can't trust the Chronicle's reporting on rail. Ask yourself, Why haven't they reported on DART's financial meltdown, with an $80 million deficit that may force dramatic fare increases? Why aren't there any actual ridership numbers reported in the article? Why don't they specifically say that the trains were riding at capacity rather than droning on about how the TAPS bus service needed an agreement to transfer riders?
That last one is the real puzzler. Were there really "too many riders," as the Chronicle claims, or was Lyons correct when he said "[t]he issue is not how many people they might be bringing?" It's a fair question -- the facts give no indictation that the trains were running at capacity. I also find it puzzling that the Dallas Morning News hasn't reported anything like this.
After the Houston Chronicle's now notorious rail conspiracy memo was released, I find no reason to believe any of their claims not bolstered by solid statistics. Try again if you want to prove that DART is a success, because the Chronicle is simply lying to you, just as they did when they claimed Houstonians supported rail in a referendum.
Just so you know, I've posted on this article on my web log.