Residents for Improving Dart Efficiency and Ridership

Sample Letter - Send an email today to demand DART be held accountable!!!

Subject: I want YOU to hold DART Accountable.  It is our Sales Tax Money.

Date:  July 19, 2019

To:  Mayor, City Council Members of Dallas, Interim Dallas City Attorney, Assistant Dallas City Manager and DART Board of Directors (see email distribution list  below)




City of Resident:  


I believe that DART is moving in the wrong direction and I want our elected or appointed officials to hold DART accountable to improve ridership and lower costs.

There are numerous examples demonstrating that DART is financially irresponsible with our hard-earned sales tax money.

  1. City of Dallas pays ~$300 million to DART, same as the Fire Department
  2. Since 2008, ridership is down 8% and costs are up +50% or $230 million
  3. 1% of our sales tax dollars goes to fund DART, same 1% goes to city of Dallas.

Some residents attended betterments meetings and have seen the egregious costs for betterment items:  ex:  $17,000 for a tree, $2,000 for a shrub, $160 per square foot for pavers.  These costs are NOT in-line with costs at market and the tree appears to be up to 30-40x the cost of a similar item at a local nursery.  DART is spending our hard-earned money while it would be better spent on Police, Fire, Education or other compelling community needs.

I expect you to hold DART Accountable.  I recommend this 5-step process:

  1. STOP Building the Cotton Belt Rail
  2. If you can’t stop the Cotton Belt Rail.  Please Re-Route out of North Dallas or Tunnel the lines for North Dallas.  North Dallas is between Knoll Trail Station and UT Dallas.
    1. The Cotton Belt already costs $48 million per mile to build.  I am not an expert, but I think $48 million per mile could allow the Cotton Belt Rail line to be tunneled in North Dallas.  I wonder if it would be even cheaper to tunnel the line in North Dallas. 
  3. Create comprehensive plan to increase Ridership, Lower Subsidy Per Passenger and Improve Safety.
  4. Re-Align Management Compensation – Ridership, Reduce Subsidy per Ride, Safety.  Install new management if DART cannot adhere to the policy.
  5. Ridership forecasts and other forecasts should be reasonable.

Please advise what actions you will take to address my concerns.

Cotton Belt Betterments Costs & Betterment Presentation Link:

Calculations based on linear feet:

Trees – 35 feet off center * $480.56 linear feet = $16,820 per tree

Shrub – 3 feet off center * $677.03 linear feet = $2,031 per shrub

Paver per square foot - $108,845 unit cost / 675 sq. feet = $161 per square foot