Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
After a series of deadly incidents, DART is placing a 'uniformed presence' on all trains. Passengers said they could see the difference and felt a little more secure on the trains.
After a series of deadly incidents, DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said starting Monday a uniformed DART officer will be on every train.
"They’re really doing their job now, I’m really glad they’re doing their job," said DART passenger Richard Warner. "I mean, they’re at every station now, they’re watching."
Lyons said officer will be either a DART police officer, a fare enforcement officer or a security guard.
Fare enforcement officers are not armed. Lyons said he is not sure whether the security guards riding the trains will be armed.
Cayla Johnson, who rides the DART train every day, said she’s already noticed a difference. "I mean there are people on here and there’s been more security at every stop as well, so I feel safe," said Johnson. "To someone who wants to think about doing something on the train or on the buses or anything, that will deter them definitely."
DART has 270 uniformed officers. Lyons said the agency is adjusting deployments and using overtime to make sure an officer is on every train. He said funding is not an issue at this time.
Recently, some riders have voiced concerns about DART's honor system when it comes to purchasing a ticket to ride the train. Right now, fare enforcement officers do not check every passenger for a ticket. However, Lyons said the agency does not have plans to change the current system.
Lyons said during a sweep last week, DART found only 1.37 percent of riders were without tickets during the morning rush.
Lyons said the 20 security guard positions added to support the program cost approximately $41,000 per month.
DART representatives assured NBC 5 riders will not see an increase in fare prices because of the additional security. There are some fare price hikes in place in the future, but those fare hikes are not tied to an increase in security.