Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials announced new vinyl seat covers have been added to the agency’s entire light-rail train fleet, according to a June 28 news release.

What happened?

New seating was installed on the last train June 19, according to the news release. In total, more than 16,000 seats on 158 vehicles have been refurnished with the new material, which features new padding and a vinyl finish.

Darryl Spencer, engineering and construction vice president, said the seat upgrades were a top priority for DART officials. The new vinyl seating will be easier to clean while providing a comfortable ride for customers, he said.

“Being able to improve the look and feel of some of our oldest vehicles as we prepare to introduce new ones into light-rail service in the next few years is a win-win for everyone,” he said in a statement.

The background

DART began upgrading seats on a single light-rail vehicle at the beginning of 2024. After receiving feedback from riders that the seats felt cleaner, DART officials began retrofitting older vehicles. Once the new vinyl seating was installed, the vehicles were rotated onto the Blue, Green, Orange and Red lines, according to the news release.

Officials challenged the project contractor to finish the upgrades before the Fourth of July when more people are expected to use the DART system to attend events, said Marvin Hurt, assistant vice president of fleet engineering.

“We hope this makes the riding experience for our customers more enjoyable over the long holiday weekend and moving forward,” he said in a statement.

The refurnishing effort is part of DART’s plan to modernize and upgrade its vehicle fleet. In the coming years, the agency plans to purchase new light-rail vehicles and buses to replace older vehicles.