Andres Guiterrez, NBC 5 News
Don Johnson from DeSoto was randomly chosen from riders on the red and blue line to represent all those who have traveled along the 55-station system over the past 16 years.
Monday’s early morning commute for Don Johnson turned to out be a chance at his 15 minutes of fame.
All because he's the 250th million DART rider.
Pulling in shortly before six this morning on the Red line at Union station, Johnson was greeted by DART officials, photographers and reporters—a fanfare that can wake up any weary-eyed commuter.
"I'm pretty nervous right now," Johnson said.
Randomly chosen, Johnson has been riding DART from his home in Desoto to his job in Richardson for 10 years.
“It's like a family,” Johnson said. “I catch it with the same people in the morning and the same people in the evening. The same car."
The price of gasoline has driven Johnson to use DART and he is not alone.
According to a report released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association, surging fuels prices had Americans take 2.7 billion trips utilizing mass transit--a five percent increase since last year.
"Last year, we had the second largest ridership in this nation since 1957, and yet we're going higher in the first quarter of this year," Michael Melaniphy, the American Public Transportation Association President and CEO said.
Johnson was awarded a set of monthly dart passes, a $100 gift certificate, and tickets for attractions along the rail line, such as the Dallas Zoo and Fair Park.