DART Testing Light Rail for Better Cotton Bowl Service

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After testing a special light rail service today, DART says its transportation plan for the Cotton Bowl appears to work much better than at last year's Texas-OU game.

DART performed a four-hour light rail simulation clockwise on the green line. "The trains move in the same direction from West End to Fair Park and they come through our rail yard," DART spokesperson Morgan Lyons said. "By the time they leave Fair Park, they're empty, and we're able to pick up a full load of customers along the way." And then reverse direction after the game.

DART's goal is efficiency to avoid a repeat of last October, when Texas and OU fans were stuck for hours waiting for a train.

"They have been advertising this -- take DART, take DART, it's going to be so awesome. Well, it sucks!" one stranded rider said last year.

"We acknowledge it didn't go well. We didn't like it," Lyons responded.

For the next Texas-OU game, DART plans to use 36 trains. A train with two cars can hold 300 passengers. The transit authority will add shuttle buses to light rail routes so riders will have options, and DART employees will watch traffic patterns and make adjustments as needed throughout the day.

That's good news for Deep Ellum resident Michael Albee, who is thinking about going to the Cotton Bowl: "I'm just hoping, you know, that it runs smoothly, that the testing works out, and that they've got enough trains."

"It's very good that they're doing that today when they don't have a lot of riders out today," Gail Sanders, another DART rider said.

DART says it should have a plan in place by early summer so you can start studying the map and planning your route before October. DART says it will do another test run at some point and try to work with Trinity Railway Express to provide direct service between Fort Worth and Fair Park.

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