DART fails us when we need it most

DART — running in good weather

Even people who don’t usually ride DART should be able to use it as a fallback during inclement weather. During the current winter weather, DART has been a complete failure.

On Tuesday, the train lines did not begin running until 2:30 p.m. DART was completely unprepared as switching signals froze and ice formed on overhead cables.

Subways in Chicago and New York run with power supplied by a third rail. Ice is not a problem. But in cold-weather cities like Denver, light rail runs despite snow and sleet and cold. The trolleys in Boston run with an overhead power supply despite ice and wind.

In those cities, the transportation systems run the trains through the night to keep the power lines defrosted — and keep the trains running during normal operating hours.

DART failed to keep their riders informed. This morning at Hampton Station, a number of riders arrived by 7:30 a.m. They checked DART’s web page and Facebook page on their mobile devices. DART said trains were running at 20-minute intervals and a Green Line train was stuck downtown because of a switching problem.

Station monitors had no information for riders. The only help offered was calling DART four times to tell them ticket machines weren’t working and conductors shouldn’t fine riders who claimed they boarded at Hampton Station.

Those same riders who arrived at 7:30 a.m. finally boarded a train at 8:45.

—  David Taffet

DART gets New Year off on wrong track

Hampton Station

An angry busload of passengers got off at Hampton Station at 8:09 this morning. The bus was a minute or two late. The train was a minute early. As the bus was pulling in, the Red Line train pulled away.

A rider from the bus saw the press pass dangling from my backpack and said: “We can complain. You can write about it.”

So here it is.

The bus from the Red Bird Transit Station to Hampton Station runs up Hampton Road and unloads all passengers to take the Red Line to downtown and points north. Some students take the train just one stop to Tyler Station and then walk to school.

The point is that everyone on the 7:55 bus from Red Bird is connecting with the 8:12 train to Parker Road.

—  David Taffet