Very colorful Downtown-to-Oak Cliff shuttle on track to launch Nov. 4

Design for the new Downtown to Oak Cliff shuttleThe Downtown-to-Oak Cliff Shuttle is on track to launch Nov. 4 and may turn some heads in the neighborhood when it makes its way through the Bishop Arts District.

The seven, 30-foot tourism-oriented buses have been dubbed “D-Link” and are painted pink and yellow.

“We wanted something different that attracts attention,” said Downtown Dallas Inc. president John Crawford at Tuesday’s briefing with the transportation committee.

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The shuttle, on route 722, will cost about $1.4 million to operate the two-year pilot program, which will be used to determine if similar services could be used in other areas of the city. Downtown Dallas Inc. contributed funds, along with the city, DART and the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program federal grant, which focuses on providing welfare recipients and low-income residents reliable transportation to work. DART secured the roughly $258,000 grant.

Proposed shuttle route
Proposed shuttle route (click to enlarge)

Keith Manoy, the city’s program manager for the shuttle and the Oak Cliff Streetcar, says that while tourism is the main service — as evidenced by the words “culture, dining, art and fun” inscribed on the side — the shuttle also will accommodate Downtown workers.

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“There are some 70 stops in between those sites,” he says.

DART media representative Mark Ball says there are 30 stops branded for D-link with sidewalk decals while the rest are basic bus stops. He reiterated that the service is aimed at businesses and employees as well as tourists.

The city council hesitated to approve the new service the other week until it included a stop at the Sixth Floor Museum to serve tourists visiting for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

The addition was made, and the council approved the shuttle service today, keeping it on schedule for its Nov. 4 start date.

The free shuttle will run every 15 minutes 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, making a loop from Davis to Edgefield to Jefferson to Zang and back Downtown.

When the Oak Cliff Streetcar begins operation sometime between October 2014 and February 2015, it will connect with the shuttle at Methodist Hospital, moving passengers through Bishop Arts.

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