DART parking fees commence on Monday

DART parking

Credit: WFAA

Spaces at two light rail stations have been numbered in advance of DART's "Fair Share Parking" scheme that starts Monday.



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Posted on April 1, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 1 at 9:27 PM

Starting Monday, DART is cracking down on riders who fill up park-and-ride lots, but who don't live in cities that collect sales tax for DART service.

The pilot project will charge those people $2 a day for parking.

The transit agency hopes its "Fair Share" program will help with the cost of its operations without losing any passengers.

Something predictable happens at the Parker Road DART Station, every time gas prices go up. The park-and-ride lot fills up.

It's just that many of the commuters don't live in the DART service area, so they don't pay the 1 percent DART sales tax.

"Our goal is not to drive people who live in McKinney or Allen or Fairview or people from Frisco away from using DART," explained DART's Todd Plesko.

The goal is to let those riders offset a small part of DART's operating costs and free up some of the parking spaces they're filling up.

DART believes a large number of passengers will decide to drive down to the George Bush Station, where there's more parking — and where it will still be free.

The transit agency expects some commuters at the North Carrollton/Frankford Road Station, the second site in this pilot project, will also seek free parking at the Trinity Mills Station a short distance south.

All month, a private company under contract for DART has been issuing sticker permits to residents who live in the DART service area, so they don't have to pay.

"I just feel like, since I live here, I might as well have the sticker," said Plano resident LaToya Frias.

There will be a grace period for non-residents, but eventually, DART will hit violators with $50 fines. Don't pay them? They'll tow you away.

On Sunday, confused passengers at the North Carrollton/Frankford Station were seen unsuccessfully trying to insert money into the parking pass machines. There were no parking "ambassadors" on site to alert them that the program begins on Monday.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com