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Competing for Transit Service in North Texas

After expanding its light rail system until it was the largest system in the United States, Dallas Area Rapid Transit still finds itself struggling to attract cities to join the agency, even as rival agencies are emerging as competitors.
September 24, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Now that Dallas Area Rapid Transit has built the nation’s longest light-rail network, its officials have their sights set on a goal that has eluded them for 31 years: enticing new cities to join the agency," report Brandon Formby and Ray Leszcynski.

The objective of adding new agencies has taken on new urgency in recent years as once-rural agencies now offer viable public transit, positioning themselves as DART competitors.

As for why that's a problem: "Area officials fear that if suburbs just outside the current service area continue to eschew DART, regional public transit will become a jumbled patchwork instead of a seamless system. And that, they surmise, could suppress transit usage from North Texans who don’t have the patience for a complicated transit structure."

Causing some of the resistance on the part of potential member cities is the one-cent sales tax that funds DART, according to the article (a similar one-cent sales tax in Houston was recently lauded as a potential model for other cities.)

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Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 in Dallas Morning News
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