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Getting Around in Dallas

By Public Transit

The transportation system is called DART, and they do an excellent job of catering to special events (Cowboys games, State Fair), or special places (Dallas Zoo, West End, Arboretum) and will instantly give you a trip plan if you call them up (214-979-1111). You will usually want to get a day pass ($5), since it will probably take you a lot of buses to get where you need to go.

The bus system, not unlike in many large cities, can be quite confusing, and trying to get to points downtown may involve a long walk due to one-way streets. Because mass transit is still far behind in popularity compared to that of other countries – and even more so in Texas, where cars are well ingrained in the culture – foreigners may be surprised that Dallasites will be unable to help direct them very well. The train system is easiest to understand, and connects to several suburban areas. Prices are relatively cheap, especially for train travel. On DART, bus drivers check tickets at the door, but on the trains, tickets are checked by DART security officers who sporadically board trains between stations. Being caught on the train without a valid ticket usually results in your being asked to immediately depart at the next stop, but you can also receive a fine not to exceed $500. Tickets are not as likely to be checked while the train is downtown or on excessively crowded trains, but it is always a risk to go for a free ride.

To get from Dallas-Fort worth (DFW) airport to downtown Dallas or Fort Worth, take a free shuttle from outside your terminal to the Remote South parking lot. Here you can change to another free shuttle to the Trinity Rail Express station called Centre Port/DFW Airport. From here a train to either downtown takes about 20 minutes. You may have to wait an hour for the next train. Buy tickets from the vending machines; they take dollar bills as well as coins. Tickets cost about $2.50. Alternatively, you can take a shared van from the airport. These cost $15-$20, depending on your destination.

By Car

The simplest and most reliable way to get around Dallas is by car. There is public transportation in the form of buses and trains (light rail), but again, these best serve the local needs (commuting to work, etc), and are very difficult to get good timings if you are trying to get anywhere exotic althought the DART train does hit many tourist destinations.

Car rentals are the most convenient for transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.





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