Mavs parade creates long wait for ride home on DART

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 16 at 5:31 PM

DALLAS - It is every train passenger's fear, getting stuck on the tracks or even worse, in a tunnel. 

It happened to a DART train near the City Place stop Thursday, after the Mavs parade. A viewer who was a passenger said about 200 people were stuck on the train for more than an hour. 

Everyone made it out safely. DART officials blamed the incident on a brake that would not release.

For most DART passengers who came to Downtown Dallas for the celebration, the only drama was some delay.

Photojournalist Chris Mathis and I watched the parade from under an overpass at Houston and McKinney Streets. The parade ended there at 11 a.m. Thousands of fans started heading to the DART train stations, forming massive crowds, waiting to board.

At 11:15 a.m., fifteen minutes after the parade ended, we began waiting for the DART Red Line to Parker Road in Plano. 

"I was hoping to get home a lot faster," said Freddy Bravo, a rider. "But I guess it’s not going to work that way."

Some Mavs fans were waiting at the wrong place. They had to move to another part of the station, sending them even further back in line to board.

The Green Line boarded first. 

Then, people got on the Blue Line. At 11:40 a.m., the Red Line train to Plano pulled up. But no one could get on. The train was full. 

The next Red Line train was also full, but we managed to get on. It was standing room only. 

"My husband got left behind," said Diane Smith. "So we got separated. So I’m not thrilled about that."

The West End station, where we boarded, was the Red Line’s second stop. Riders had already filled up the cars at the first stop, Union Station. 

"If you were smart, you will start from the first train station where no one’s at," said Malcolm Elmore, a regular DART rider. "But if you start from the middle, you're going to have a little trouble."

We finally arrived at the Parker Road station in Plano at 12:50 p.m., almost two hours after the parade ended.

DART officials said while they don't have ridership figures yet, they estimate three times the normal load of passengers came to the parade.

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