DART Approves Security Improvement Plans

DART Approves Security Improvement Plans

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors unanimously approved plans and funding for security improvements to DART’s light rail and bus systems on Tuesday.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors unanimously approved plans and funding for security improvements to DART’s light rail and bus systems on Tuesday. The upgrade plans come in response to a wave of security and crime complaints about DART systems.

DART’s board of directors authorized spending at least $14 million on security upgrades in three key areas: people, technology and facilities. The agency will hire 30 new armed security guards to help DART police patrol stations and trains and add cameras to its 163 light rail vehicles. It also plans to improve its stations with new lighting and fencing.

The agency expects to have its first 48 rail cars fitted with cameras by spring and will add the systems to the other 115 in the next two years. DART also aims to have a uniformed presence – police, armed security guard or fare enforcement – on each of its trains by spring 2018.

These security changes come after several high profile incidents on DART trains recently, including the July beating of a man at a DART station that was recorded and put on YouTube. There have been complaints that there are not enough police officers or security cameras to curb criminal activity.

"We know that for so many of our customers, using transit is a choice," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said. "And they tell us it's gotta be convenient, it's gotta be reliable, but most important, it's gotta be safe. And there are some things that we can do right now to improve that sense of security."

DART recently introduced its “DART Say Something” smartphone app that riders can use to report crimes and submit photos, short videos, text descriptions and locations to improve safety.

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