Both Texas and OU fans remember the traffic jam for DART riders at last year's Red River Rivalry game. Ticket holders got to the game late and waited hours to leave afterward, others were struck on overcrowded trains, and backups delayed progress at most DART stations.
"We rode the DART, and it was a mess," Omar Tabani, a Texas fan, said about last year's experience on the DART trains. "We were packed in like cattle and we missed the first quarter of the game last year."
This year, DART's goal was to carry thousands more people wearing orange and crimson to the Texas-OU football game at the Cotton Bowl, all while running the same number of trains. But they did it with a better plan, three test runs, and plenty of staff to help speed up the process. And, overall, this year's riders said the service was much improved from last year.
"It took us 20 minutes to get here versus like an hour and a half last year. I'm in a better mood," Tabani said.
Most passengers heeded DART's warnings and got to the train stations hours before the game. What also helped was that this year's game started a few hours later than last year's contest, giving people more time to get to the game.
"We want to get to the fair and we want to eat some corn dogs and you know, maybe drink a few adult beverages and have a good time and be there early," Will Gattenby, a Sooners fan waiting at the West End station, said.
"I spend a lot of money, and it's a big effort to come here, and you want to have a good time, but you definitely don't want to miss the game," Laurie Womack, a Longhorns fan, said.
Some trains Saturday were more crowded than others, but most fans who opted not to drive said they would give this year's DART experience a seal of approval. A quicker ride to Fair Park gave them time to enjoy the State Fair before the game.
"It was good. It was an easy ride in, not that bad," Haley Burr, an OU fan, said.
DART spokesperson Morgan Lyons said they were pleased with the service they provided and that it was much better than last year's.