East Dallas Senior Citizens Seek DART Program

A group of East Dallas senior citizens is asking Dallas Area Rapid Transit to extend a ride service to their area due to the challenge of making it to the bus stop.

The East Dallas Seniors Coalition is asking DART to extend its “on call” service to the White Rock East community. The service is already in Farmer’s Branch, Glenn Heights, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, North Dallas and Park Cities.

Whether it's visiting friends or trying to get to the doctor, some feel stranded.

East Dallas Seniors Coalition representative Ellen Childress, 75, has been trying to get the On Call service for their area for years.

“This is frustrating... very frustrating and it’s dangerous because you’ve got 80 and 90 year olds still driving that shouldn’t because they don’t want to give up their independence,” Childress said.

Childress has a bus stop near a few blocks from her home, but it is difficult for her and her 79-year-old husband to walk that distance. It’s a common issue for the aging population of the community.

While there are services like Lyft and Uber they can become expensive for people on fixed incomes.

“The average for a senior citizen to spend on transportation is $577 dollars a month and we are low to moderate income people,” Childress said. “People can’t spend that. So, we are looking at DART.”

“By policy, DART On Call service has generally been established where there is no or very limited fixed-route service in the area,” DART representative Mark Ball explained via email.

Ball explained, the area near the Childress home is located two blocks from a bus route.

“On Call is not normally provided in areas where there is significant bus service within walking distance, which would be the case here,” Ball said. “The goal is to find a cost-effective way to offer options in these situations, as On Call would be too expensive relative to the level of projected ridership.”

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