Dallas Area Rapid Transit has seen ridership drop around 70% with so many people forced to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
DART says this was an opportunity to use their vehicles and drivers to keep North Texas connected in a whole new way.
“We are well-positioned to work across all 13 of our service area cities,” said Gordon Shattles, DART director of external relations. “We are hearing more and more people just need our help.”
Just this week, DART’s paratransit drivers added grocery pickup and delivery to its services for customers. Drivers pick up groceries from the store and deliver them directly to the customer for free. Paratransit riders must still place their own orders directly with the grocery store and give DART the pickup ID information.
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DART also teamed up with Dallas ISD to use buses to deliver food to students in neighborhoods in need.
“Each bus delivers 1,500 meals, enough for 100 families per bus, 15 meals per student, for a total of 4,500 meals weekly for distribution by DISD employees,” DART representatives explained.
DART also worked the City of Dallas to deliver care packages to senior citizens.
“The pride from our operators and from our leadership team from everyone across the DART organization has been fantastic,” Shattles said. “Whenever we say we need to be out in the community and this is something we feel we need to do. The operators are the first ones asking ‘what can I do to help?’ ‘What can I provide?’”