In response to customer requests for a vehicle more suited to neighborhood needs, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) introduces a new concept in transit on selected routes beginning today. At 26 feet in length and seating 17 passengers, the smaller buses (also used currently on DART's Flex and On-Call services) will be lighter and easier to maneuver on narrow streets while still providing the amenities of the larger counterparts being introduced on heavier traveled routes in the system.
The new vehicles will feature low floors, deploying ramps rather than lifts for passengers with mobility challenges, plus on-board security cameras to enhance customer safety. These buses will be powered by clean-burning, compressed natural gas.
In a previous decade, DART has operated a similar smaller fleet in addition to its current large buses (soon to be switched out sometime later this year into 2013) called the iBus, manufactured by Champion Bus, Inc. to run the less-traveled routes. However, there were several issues such as the engine compartment, the rough ride, and the height of the floor inside the bus. Customers who ride these newer buses (pictured) will not experience these problems.
Customers on select routes in Plano, North Dallas, Addison, Garland, Carrollton, and Irving will be among the first to receive the new buses. As additional units are delivered, they will appear on similar routes throughout the system.