DART Service Improvement Plan in Sussex County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DART Service Improvement Plan in Sussex County

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 SEAFORD, Del.- The Delaware Transit Corporation is trying to make public transportation a little more flexible in some parts of Sussex County.

DTC operates DART Services, which includes a commuter rail, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit and a fixed route bus service. A new redesign plan aims to improve its transit system for riders. 

The agency is developing two transportation alternatives that will provide more options. A pilot Flex Service that can be scheduled to deviate or flex up to one mile from the primary route.  Julie Theyerl, the spokesperson for DTC, said three new routes would be run through Seaford, Georgetown and Millsboro. The flex routes would connect passengers to a stop on the fixed route as well. 

Tamira Woodus lives in Seaford. She walks one mile to the closest bus stop and said it is not easy.

 "It's hard with two kids, trying to walk all the way up there and carry our stuff," Woodus said.  "It's crazy, it's irritating, it's frustrating , trying to maintain and do what we have to do because we don't have a car." 

Rebecca Todd can relate. She said she would be grateful for more transportation options. 

"I would feel blessed just to get a closer ride for the bus to get on it because walking almost a mile just to get a bus is hard with three kids," Todd said. 

Dart is seeking input from the public on its transit redesign plan. An information session was held Tuesday night and another will be held Thursday evening. 

Other ideas for improvements  include a service called, DelaRide. Dart officials said the service will be offered to individuals eligible for paratransit services.  This new, statewide pilot will contract with private providers of taxis and limousines, to provide one-on-one trips, offering greater freedom and independence; shorter, more direct trips; and on-demand, same day service.

Theyerl said implementation of the plan began with fixed route service expansions and a fixed route fare increase that took effect on February 9, 2014.  Since then, DTC staff and Transportation Secretary, Shailen Bhatt have been in discussions with legislators, service agencies and advocates regarding details of the paratransit changes that were part of the overall Transit Redesign Plan.

Effective July 1, 2014, the fare for both Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA) paratransit and Non-ADA Demand Response trips will be $3.00 for a one-way trip. Paratransit riders on the flex route will pay a reduced fare of $0.60, according to officials. Dart customers will pay $1.50. 

Service will continue to be provided to all customers, even for Non-ADA Demand Response trips.  There are no changes in service, Theyerl said.

Proposals will be present during public hearing sessions later this summer.

Dart asks residents to come out to the Millsboro Town Center Thursday, from 4p.m. until 6 p.m. for a second information meeting in Sussex County. 

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