Free Dallas route links hot spots in downtown, Uptown, Oak Cliff

Dallas Area Rapid Transit on Monday launched D-Link, a circular bus route that takes riders through south Uptown, downtown and north Oak Cliff. The route offers free access to and from places like the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, American Airlines Center, Klyde Warren Park and the Bishop Arts District.

It is DART’s first free bus route aimed at connecting people to destinations throughout the city, not just to other DART stops or stations.

Buses on the route are bright pink and are branded especially for the D-Link. D-Link, or Route 722, will run buses in both directions every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. After 6 p.m. service will extend south of downtown to the Cedars, hitting a total of 60 stops.

Funding for the free service is set for at least two years, split between DART, Downtown Dallas and the city of Dallas, and partially offset by federal funding. It’s expected to cost $1.4 million annually.

In addition to connecting visitors in downtown or Uptown hotels to some of the city’s most popular arts, dining and historic destinations, the route aims to serve downtown residents and workers in downtown, Uptown, the Cedars and Oak Cliff for lunch or after-work socializing.

The route was originally envisioned as a light rail or trolley line. Rather than wait for funding though, officials recognized the need to take advantage of the need to connect increasingly popular destinations in these neighborhoods.

Source: Dallas Morning News, Nov. 3, 2013.
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