DART Moving Forward With Security Improvements

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors on Tuesday approved plans and funding for several security improvements to light rail and bus systems.

DART spokesperson Morgan Lyons said the upgrades focus in on three key areas: people, technology, and facilities.

The agency will add 30 new armed security guards, which will help DART police patrol stations and trains. DART has said its goal is to have a uniformed presence, whether that be police, armed security guard, or fare enforcement on every single one of its trains by Spring 2018.

DART is also in the process of adding security cameras to all of its train cars. Those will be phased in over the next couple of years.

Finally, DART plans to make several improvements to its stations, including new lighting and fencing.

The changes come in the aftermath of several high profile incidents that have taken place on board DART trains in recent months, including one where a group of teens attacked a man who asked them to stop smoking marijuana in one of the train cars.

"We know that for so many of our customers, using transit is a choice," said Lyons. "And they tell us it's gotta be convenient, it's gotta be reliable, but most important, it's gotta be safe. And there are some things that we can do right now to improve that sense of security."

Lyons said the crime rate within the DART system is down when compared to last year. The agency is optimistic these new changes will allow that trend to continue.

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