DART Board of Directors Unanimously Approves Bus Network Redesign Plan

Photo courtesy of DART

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors has unanimously approved the DARTzoom Final Bus Network Plan, which includes a complete redesign of the DART bus network. With the goal of providing greater frequency, longer service hours and improved access to destinations, the redesigned network goes into effect on January 24, 2022.

As the North Texas region continues to experience unparalleled growth, becoming a national and international destination for both residents and corporations, DART has undertaken a complete blank-slate redesign of the existing bus system. Working with all 13 Service Area cities, employers, community leaders, and transit riders, DART has developed a new bus system that is designed to ensure passengers have safe and easy access to employment, education and entertainment areas across the DART service area.

Greater Frequency

Core Frequent Network service will provide bus frequency matching or better than light rail service – 15-minute peak and 20-minute midday. Light rail service will also return to pre-pandemic levels, providing 15-minute peak service and more frequent evening service.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors has unanimously approved the DARTzoom Final Bus Network Plan, which includes a complete redesign of the DART bus network. With the goal of providing greater frequency, longer service hours and improved access to destinations, the redesigned network goes into effect on January 24, 2022.

As the North Texas region continues to experience unparalleled growth, becoming a national and international destination for both residents and corporations, DART has undertaken a complete blank-slate redesign of the existing bus system. Working with all 13 Service Area cities, employers, community leaders, and transit riders, DART has developed a new bus system that is designed to ensure passengers have safe and easy access to employment, education and entertainment areas across the DART service area.

New GoLink Zones

An essential part of the new DART bus network is the expansion of GoLink, DART’s on-demand, curb-to-curb microtransit service solution that operates in zones across the DART service area. GoLink offers direct-request demand-responsive service with connections to other DART routes as well as curb-to-curb service anywhere within a specified zone.

With the start of the new bus service schedule in 2022, 13 new GoLink zones will be added, bringing the total to 30. To ensure riders have the opportunity to experience GoLink for themselves before the bus service changes go into effect, all 30 zones will be active beginning December 6, 2021.

GoLink riders can book and pay for trips with either the DART GoPass app or by calling 214-515-7272. The free app is available from the Apple Store and Google Play.

More information about the DARTzoom Bus Network Redesign project is available at www.dartzoom.org.

Federal Face Mask Requirement for Public Transit Extended through January 18, 2022

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a Security Directive extending the face mask requirement for all transportation networks, including public transportation, while onboard or indoors through January 18, 2022 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will continue to require a CDC approved face mask be worn over the mouth and nose by passengers and operators at all times while on DART vehicles including buses, trains and paratransit vehicles, Trinity Railway Express trains, in buildings and onboard the Dallas Streetcar.

Mask wearing is one of several proven measures that can reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, vaccinations and timely testing.

Refusing to wear a mask, unless exempted or excluded under the CDC guidelines, is a violation of federal law and failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and passengers may be subject to federal penalties, including a fine ranging from $250 for the first offense up to $1,500 for repeat offenders.

Face masks and hand sanitizer dispensers are installed on all buses, light rail vehicles, TRE vehicles and Dallas streetcars, and will continue to be available to all passengers.

If a DART passenger is concerned with someone not wearing a mask, they can contact DART Customer Service at (214) 979-1111, or use the “DART Say Something” app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play for free.

Staying Safe While Riding DART

DART remains committed to doing everything possible to keep both our patrons and employees safe through this pandemic. DART remains in close contact with local, state, and national health authorities, including the Texas Department of State Health Services and the CDC. DART encourages passengers who feel sick or are experiencing symptoms to stay home and avoid public places.

Cleaning and Protection

DART continues to undertake aggressive agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols on buses, light rail, paratransit vehicles and properties. In addition to thorough nightly cleanings, DART buses and trains are also cleaned on a rotating basis with hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning solutions to sanitize and disinfect each vehicle.

Social Distancing

DART recommends maintaining a six-foot distance between both fellow riders and your DART operator, leaving an open seat between yourself and other riders when available, avoiding large groups and staying home if you feel sick or are experiencing symptoms.

To enforce social distancing practices and protect customer and employee well-being, all transit center waiting areas have been temporarily closed. DART riders can still use the outdoor areas for boarding buses and light rail vehicles.

You can find more information about how DART is working to keep our passengers safe at www.dart.org/health.

Experience “A Taste of Two Valleys” at Grapevine’s 35th Annual Grapefest® – A Texas Wine Experience

Celebrate wine at the 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, September 16, 17, 18 and 19. Experience a “Taste of Two Valleys” with unique and exquisite wines from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley. This event will be located inside the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Tasting Experience, sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort. Enjoy live music during this one-of-a-kind, separate ticketed event. 

Explore the wines of South Australia’s Barossa Valley which is home to more than 500 grape growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land as their ancestors. 

These families supply quality grapes to over 170 wine companies. Wine has been a way of life in Barossa since the 1840s, and the region incorporates both Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, making it one of the only areas in Australia to have neighboring warm and cool climate growing conditions. With such a diversity of growing conditions and soil types across both valleys, and vineyards that have been tended by hand for many generations. GrapeFest guests will be certain to find a favorite Barossa Valley wine at this year’s event. Participating wineries from South Australia’s Barossa Valley include Yalumba, Chateau Tanunda, Torbreck Vitners, Langmeil Winery and Heathvale Wines. 

Grapevine is pleased to welcome Australian Consul-General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Mr. Benson Igua Saulo to GrapeFest. Mr. Saulo, based in Houston and the first indigenous person to be appointed as an Australian Consul-General, is a descendant of the Wemba Wemba and Gunditjmara Indigenous nations of Western Victoria, and the New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. Saulo has a background in banking, investments and social impact. 

Mr. Saulo became the founding director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA), which engages young Indigenous Australians to develop and drive youth-led social action campaigns relating to suicide prevention, climate change, mental health and welcoming refugee and asylum seekers. Mr. Saulo has participated in the U.S. State Department’s International Leaders Program and has been recognized as a finalist for Young Australian of the Year (VI). He has also earned the Australian Human Rights Commission Medal for Youth and the 2012 NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award, recognizing emerging Indigenous leaders. Additionally, he has been an Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations and has represented Australian youth at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

Mr. Stuart Nutting, South Australia Department for Trade and Investment (DTI) Regional Director, Americas – New York, and Ms. Regina Johnson, South Australia DTI Deputy Director also will be attending GrapeFest as well as meeting with wine distributors, retailers and other businesses of interest to South Australia. South Australia winemakers and exporters work to add value to food processing supply chains as well as research and development in food and agribusiness. 

Sip your way through the wines of California’s Napa Valley. Known for its hundreds of hillside vineyards, Napa Valley is home to more than 475 wineries and more than 40 different grape varieties. At only 30 miles long and five miles wide at its widest point, the Napa Valley is a unique wine growing region with a complex tapestry of vineyard locations. The valley’s topography and soil diversity changes as you travel through its diverse terrain which ranges from estuarine flats and gentle hills to the sheer walls of the Palisades at the foot of Mount St. Helena to the forested Mayacamas Mountains. Due to its unique geographic position between the cold Pacific Ocean and the warm Central Valley, a wide variety of climatic conditions exist within this small, contiguous area that are perfectly suited to producing a great variety of world-class wine grapes. Its unique attributes mean distinctiveness in every glass. Participating California Napa Valley wineries include Bootleg, Trefethen, The Hess Collection, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Kerr Cellars. 

ABOUT GRAPEFEST – TEXAS WINE. COME AND TASTE IT! 

GrapeFest is a celebration of Texas wines. Home to more than 400 wineries and 4,400 acres of vineyards producing nearly three million gallons of Texas wine each year, Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States. Grapevine is home to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association and Texas’ premier Urban Wine Trail, featuring a variety of award-winning winery tasting rooms. 

The 35th Annual GrapeFest opens on Thursday, September 16 at 11 a.m. Admission for everyone is free all day on Thursday. Festival hours are Thursday, September 16 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, September 17 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday September 19 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and children (6-12). Admission is free for children 5 and under. For more information, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 817-410-3185 or visit GrapeFest.com.

DART Announces Labor Day Schedule

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will operate on the following schedule for the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6:

  • DART bus, light rail and Dallas streetcar services will follow a Sunday schedule.
  • The Trinity Railway Express commuter rail will not operate.
  • The Inland Port GoLink Zone will operate on a Sunday schedule (5:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) on Monday, Sept. 6. There is no service in any of the other GoLink Zones.
  • DART’s administrative offices, Customer Care Center and Lost and Found will be closed.
  • Customers with questions about schedules can contact DART’s Customer Information Center at 214-979-1111 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • DART’s Paratransit Services will run a Saturday schedule and the Paratransit Scheduling Center will be closed. Customers may call Thursday, Sept. 2 to book their trips through Monday, Sept. 6, and Friday, Sept. 3, to book their trips through Tuesday, Sept. 7.
  • Customers can also schedule, view and cancel trips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.DART.org/Paratransit.

DART route and schedule information can be found at www.DART.org.

Dubiski Instructor Completes Inaugural Ag Mechanics Academy

Lot Burdick and Divid Disselhorst after reassembling their Briggs and Stratton Engine (Photo courtesy of GPISD)

Lot Burdick, Welding Instructor at Dubiski Career High School in the Grand Prairie Independent School District, has successfully completed the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy, a national agricultural educator training event hosted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Mr. Burdick was one of twenty participants from across the United States selected to participate in the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy. 

The Academy was an intensive 10-day training that included hands-on learning and train-the-trainer-style lessons in agricultural mechanics focused on small gas engines, residential wiring, and welding. This first-of-the-kind training was held from July 27 through August 5 under the direction of Dr. Ryan Anderson, assistant professor in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics at Texas State University. Dr. Anderson was able to develop and host this training at no cost to the participants through funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award #2020—08590).

“The Agricultural Mechanics Academy provided a tremendous opportunity for teachers across the nation to receive the training and skills necessary to be successful in the agricultural mechanics courses that they teach,” said Dr. Anderson. “Agricultural mechanics is a critical component of many rural communities and a core part of many agricultural education programs. This is an opportunity I wish I had as an early career educator.

Participants of the Academy received numerous classroom items and teaching resources for being selected and participating. Those items included classroom sets of small gas engines, curriculum, and tools from Briggs & Stratton with training provided by Power Distributors; welding gear packs, curriculum, and training from Lincoln Electric; and Agricultural Technical Systems and Mechanics textbooks from American Technical Publishers. Participants in the academy exceeded over 120 Continuing Education Credit hours for participating.

“The training I received from the Agricultural Mechanics Academy is invaluable. This training really helped prepare me for teaching my students for years to come,” said Mr. Burdick. “The classroom materials and supplies that were included with this training will be a tremendous benefit for my students and the Agricultural Mechanics program at Dubiski. I am very grateful to Dr. Anderson, USDA, Briggs & Stratton, Lincoln Electric, and everyone else that helped make this training possible.”

About the Agricultural Mechanics Academy
This was the first year of the Agricultural Mechanics Academy. Through the USDA, funding has been obtained for annual training through 2024. For more information about this opportunity and to apply for training, please visit https://ag.txstate.edu/outreach/Agricultural-Mechanics-Academy.html

About Dubiski Career High School
John A. Dubiski Career High School is a GPISD public high school of choice with a focus is on equipping students with the skills they need for 21st-century professions. Students choose a sequential course of study designed to prepare them for a 2-year, 4-year, or technical college. In addition to their high school diploma, students are also eligible to complete programs that award them with advanced certifications, industry training, and internship and career-field experiences. Dubiski offers HB5 endorsements including STEM, Business & Industry, and Public Service. 

Rev Your Engines for ItalianCarFest™

Fiats, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, oh my! Take in the sleek craftsmanship and quality of Italian automotive ingenuity at ItalianCarFestTM, presented by Boardwalk Auto Group on September 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than 90 modern and classic Italian vehicles will be on display at this free event, hosted by the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Italian Car Club of North Texas.

This event kicks off the 35th Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, running September 16, 17, 18 and 19. Alfa Romeos, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Siatas, Lancias and more will be on display.

Come experience the largest show of premier Italian automobiles in the southwest. Free tours of Nash Farm will also take place. Refreshments, including beer, wine, soft drinks, and Italian food provided by Chez Fabien and Main Street Bistro will be available for purchase.

WHEN:           Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

WHERE:         Nash Farm, located at 626 Ball St.  Grapevine, TX 76051

For more information, visit the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau or the Italian Car Club of North Texas.

Face Masks Again Optional in Grand Prairie ISD

In compliance with yesterday’s Texas Supreme Court ruling temporarily blocking the mask mandate in Dallas County, face masks will again be optional for all GPISD students and staff in all District schools and facilities. However, we strongly encourage students and staff alike to wear a mask at school as part of our efforts to keep them safe from COVID-19.

Coppell to Host Parade to Honor Gold Medal Olympian Chiaka Ogbogu

Photo courtesy of UT Athletics

Join the City of Coppell and Coppell High School for a parade to celebrate Coppell’s own Gold Medal Olympian, Chiaka Ogbogu, on Saturday, August 14 at 9 a.m. Bring signs, banners and flags to show support and cheer on Ogbogu as she brings home the gold!

The parade will take place in the eastbound lanes of Parkway Blvd. from Buttonwood Ct. to Cowboy Dr. in Coppell. After the parade passes, attendees are encouraged to walk to the Coppell High School Arena for a presentation by the Coppell City Council, naming Saturday, August 14, 2021, as “Chiaka Ogbogu Day!” Coppell ISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt and CHS Principal Laura Springer will also recognize Ogbogu as a Coppell Cowgirl Gold Medalist during the presentation in the CHS Arena.

Intersections along the route will close temporarily beginning at approximately 8:50 a.m. and will remain closed until the parade has passed. Westbound Parkway traffic will remain open. Intersections along westbound Parkway Blvd. will be open for right turn only during the parade.

Ogbogu, a 6-2 middle blocker, was raised in Coppell and attended Coppell High School, where she helped lead the Coppell Cowgirls volleyball team to state titles in 2011 and 2012. Ogbogu was named the Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year in 2012 and has played professionally in Italy, Poland and Turkey. Ogbogu joined the U.S. national team in 2018. She competed in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where she helped the team win gold.

Face Masks Now Mandatory in Grand Prairie Schools

In compliance with an executive order issued on August 11 by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, face masks will be mandatory for all GPISD students and staff in all District campuses and facilities effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight (August 11, 2021). The District will update our health and safety plan to reflect the mask requirement for all students and staff in any GPISD facility.

Day Out with Thomas™ Pulls into Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Photo courtesy of Grapevine CVB

All aboard for fun and games and smiles for miles with “Day Out With ThomasTM .” The Party Train Tour, presented by Mattel, rolls into Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Cotton Belt Depot (705 S. Main St.) on September 24, 25, 26 and October 1, 2 and 3. Tickets are now on sale!

Train fans of all ages will enjoy a day of family-friendly fun with a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine™, star of the popular Thomas & Friends™ series on Netflix. Little engineers and their families are invited to take an approximately 25-minute ride on their favorite engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt®, Controller of the Railway. Stop by the Tryke Corral and enjoy storytelling, lawn games, stage entertainment and more Thomas-themed activities. Then check out the pop-up gift shop for exclusive Thomas swag.

For more than 70 years, Thomas the Tank Engine has been chugging his way into the hearts of children and grownups worldwide, with his Island of Sodor friends by his side. Based on The Railway Series of classic stories, Thomas & Friends inspires the imagination while teaching the life lessons of friendship, exploration and cooperation. The “Day Out with Thomas: The Party Train Tour,” is hosted by the Museum of the American Railroad and the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

Details for Day Out With Thomas:

What: Day Out With Thomas The Party Train Tour

When: September 24, 25, 26 and October 1, 2 and 3, 2021

Time: Each train ride is 25 minutes. Trains depart at various times between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. See ticket section below.

Where: Grapevine Vintage Railroad, 705 S. Main St., Grapevine

Tickets: Tickets are on sale now for $24 per person; tickets for groups of 20+ are $20 per person (taxes and service fees not included). Tickets are required for everyone ages 24 months and up. Passengers under 24 months are not required to have a ticket but must ride on an adult’s lap. Advanced purchase is highly recommended due to the popularity of this event. Tickets can be purchased from TicketWeb.com/DOWT or by calling 866.468.7630. 

ABOUT DAY OUT WITH THOMAS

Day Out with Thomas is a collaboration between the Museum of the American Railroad and the Grapevine Vintage Railroad in Historic Downtown Grapevine, Texas. Proceeds from the event go toward historic rail preservation. The event introduces the next generation of train enthusiasts to rail travel and the importance of rail preservation. For more information, visit HistoricTrains.org.

About Thomas & Friends

Thomas the Tank Engine was created over 70 years ago, by a British clergyman, the Rev. W. Awdry, as a storybook for his son. That story quickly grew to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, enjoyed by families in more than 160 territories and over 55 languages. Thomas & Friends has earned numerous prestigious accolades including, a Parent’s Choice Award, a Webby and a Licensing Award for Best Classic Licensed Property.  It is available in multiple formats including: 500+ original TV shows; 12 feature-length films; 27 websites in 13 languages; apps; toys; consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more. Thomas & Friends is viewable on more than 30 world-class broadcasters including Netflix in the US, Super RTL in Germany, and on Five’s Milkshake! in the UK. Thomas & Friends can also be viewed across digital platforms including Hulu, iTunes, YouTube and more. On YouTube, the Thomas & Friends channel has had over 1.16 billion lifetime views, over 909k subscribers and 2.6MM engagements. For more information about the world of Thomas & Friends, please visit thomasandfriends.com and facebook.com/thomasandfriends.

For more information about experiencing Day Out With Thomas, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 817.410.3185 or visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com.