Dallas, Texas – DART passengers are expressing their concerns over their safety and the latest changes in the schedule.
According to the latest data provided by the officials, the crimes cases has been constantly on the rise on the buses, at the trains and on at the stations.
A report to the DART Board of Directors shows Group A Offenses (Assault, Robbery, Homicide, Human Trafficking, Burglary, Vandalism, Sex Offenses and Drug Crimes) increased 28% in 2021 compared with the year before. Arrests rose 44%.
DART said that there have been a total of 259 arrests during 2021 and 314 total offenses. In addition to rising crime cases, DART also wrote more citations, including fare evasion and increased trespass warnings.
While passengers, especially those who use the service on a daily basis, are concerned about their safety while using the DART services, another major problem for passengers is the constantly changing schedule of the rides.
Passenger Jana Hadas who rides on a train each day from Plano and connects to a bus for her job in the medical district said she has noticed confusion with the new bus routes. She has also noticed an increasing number of homeless people sleeping in the trains which makes the whole DART experience ‘uncomfortable’.
“I’m kind of afraid. First thing you get on the train, you want to be close to the button, you can push the button, have your phone next to you,” she said.
Recently, while was using her daily route train, she experienced a disturbing situation when those other riders were menacing. She immediately called the DART police, but the officers responded to the train many stops later and she believes that the respond time should be improved.
“During my ride, they had two, three times they check my pass. Now, you hardly see anybody doing this,” she said.
Since DART recently announced new bus routes, they extended the free-ride period up until February 7 in an effort to give people enough time to get used to the new routes. According to DART spokesperson Gordon Shattles, “as long as our riders follow the DART code of conduct, they have the right to ride the system as all of us do.”
Currently, there are 200 DART officers that are working round the clock to provide as safe experience as possible. However, the company is working is hiring new officers that should ever further improve the safety and increase the DART officers’ presence in the bus, trains and at the stations.
“We are currently hiring for another 43 officers as well as another 27 fare enforcement officers,” Shattles said.