DART braces for fan demand at Mavs parade

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by GARY REAVES

WFAA

Posted on June 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 15 at 2:19 PM

DALLAS — With the memory of the Texas-OU debacle fresh on their minds, Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials are scrambling to do what might be impossible — bring thousands of Mavericks fans into the downtown district for Thursday morning's victory parade using trains, buses and park-and-ride lots that are already filled by rush hour travelers.

Making matters worse, at 8 a.m. Thursday, the city will start closing streets like Young and Houston that are also major bus routes.

DART spokesman Mark Ball is well aware of the challenge. "If this is going to happen right after rush hour and we are going to be asking the public to take advantage of public transportation, we are going to have problems," he conceded.

So, trains will come more often — every 10 minutes instead of every 15, and both DART and the Trinity Railway Express will add extra rail cars.

Officials just hope that riders won't all try to get off at Victory Station.

"There's four or five stations you can get off in the downtown area that you can take advantage of, and get off and walk towards the parade route," Ball said.

And when the event ends, expect an even bigger mess, because people who arrived over the course of several hours may all try to leave at the same time.

But Ball says DART has a plan for that as well. The buses will be at Victory and the West End. No buses will be at Union Station because there is nowhere to park them.

One tip: Take the Green Line if you can. It's the new route that parallels Interstate 35E. The trains and parking lots along the Green Line still have space, and they stop right at Victory Station next to the American Airlines Center.

E-mail greaves@wfaa.com

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