Ahead of the launch of its bus network redesign next year, Dallas Area Rapid Transit plans to begin operating its new GoLink zones beginning Dec. 6.

DART’s GoLink service offers on-demand, curb-to-curb shuttles to anywhere within each specified zone. In all, DART plans to add 13 new GoLink zones throughout its service area that will replace some of its traditional fixed-route service when the network changes go into effect Jan. 24. All existing bus routes will continue operating until then. The new GoLink service areas will give DART a total of 30 of the zones. GoLink service also offers connections to DART transit facilities.

“You can use GoLink to go within a neighborhood, or you can use it to do a much larger trip that extends throughout the DART system,” said Rob Smith, DART’s assistant vice president of service planning and development, earlier this year.

According to an agency news release, the charge for a GoLink ride is the same as a regular DART fare.

The agency is adding two GoLink zones in central Plano and east Plano to give the city a total of five. The central Plano zone will cover portions of three current bus routes. The other zone will cover portions of two existing bus routes in the eastern portion of the city and extend into Richardson.

“The GoLinks are really popular, especially on the northern side [of the city],” Plano Director of Special Projects Peter Braster said this spring. “They’re some of the best ridden in the DART system. Once people understand what they can do and how much more convenient they are than waiting for a bus, I think it’ll be much better for them.”

In Richardson, DART is also adding two GoLink zones with one set to cover portions of three existing bus routes in the Telecom area in the northeastern portion of the city and extend into Plano. The other zone will focus on central Richardson, covering portions of three current bus routes.

GoLink service also offers riders the opportunity to use UberPool for additional fees that range from $1-$3 per person per trip.

The new DARTzoom Final Bus Network Plan was designed to address the significant growth Plano, Richardson and the surrounding areas have seen since the service was created in 1983.

DARTzoom’s goal is to improve service frequency and hours buses are available in areas with the heaviest ridership in all 13 cities in its service area, according to DART staff. The redesigned network will also expand coverage and offer more direct routes throughout its service area.

Riders in Plano and Richardson will see revisions to a number of the city’s routes and the services offered, but DART officials expect the coverage area in both of those cities to see little changes overall.

“The beauty of the Richardson impacts is that there weren’t that many overall, and the [changes that are being made] are pretty inconsequential,” Deputy City Manager Don Magner said earlier this year. “We believe that riders, if they’re knowledgeable, will still be able to utilize those routes that are seeing some service impacts in an effective way.”

Additional information on DART's GoLink zones is available at www.dart.org/golink. More information about the bus network redesign is available at www.dartzoom.org.