Dallas Area Rapid Transit staff received the go-ahead to begin drafting the agency's DARTzoom Bus Network Plan via a Nov. 10 vote.

Both the DART Committee-of-the-Whole and DART Board approved the use of a hybrid concept, which balances the need to maintain high-ridership routes with providing adequate coverage. Staff was directed to focus the design on 70% to 75% ridership and 25% to 30% coverage.

These ranges allow for built-in flexibility as DART staff, staff from DART's 13 member cities and consultants from Jarret Walker + Associates develop and share the network design with impacted parties, staff said in a presentation. Coverage in Richardson and Plano are not likely to be affected by adjustments within these ranges, staff shared at a recent meeting.

About 55% of DART’s bus service currently focuses on high-ridership routes, while the rest is used to provide coverage, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper. The hybrid approach would put roughly 73% of residents within a half-mile of DART transportation from their homes, and 25%-30% of routes would operate at a frequency of every 20 minutes or better—an increase from the current concept and a middle ground among the five concepts presented to the board.

Discussions on a ridership and coverage balance began in July, following initial discussions on a redesign in fall 2019.

The board will be presented with a draft of the redesign in January. The draft will be presented to the public following any modifications.

Final approval by the board is expected to take place next summer, with expected implementation of the redesign scheduled for January 2022.