James O’Toole & Donovan Kelly, Contributing Writers
The Dallas Public Transportation has recently begun to replace its old diesel buses with a new fleet that runs on compressed natural gas, referred to as CNG buses.
These buses reduce carbon dioxide emissions, are more spacious than previous models and have new and improved safety measures, such a protective screen for the driver and a low floor design to help those with disabilities.
CNG buses are also more eco-friendly, reducing emissions and fuel costs by up to 60 percent according to DART press releases.
Some students and staff who have heard about the new buses are now more interested in taking the bus in Irving.
Sophomore Brian Hawersaat was quick to say that he would “take one [a DART bus] much faster than the COTRAL,” referring to the Roman COTRAL public transportation, which often leaves students with a negative impression of buses.
“The buses they use around here are really good, especially on a cold morning, when some would prefer not to walk,” said Online Marketing and Communications Manager Ken Starzer. Starzer, though praising the old buses, noted that he would also enjoy a more “spacious bus.”
According to freshman Liam O’Toole, who recently tried out the new buses, the bus system still has a few kinks that need to be worked out, but on the whole is very useful, especially for those without wheels.
“The buses do not run direct to most places and can also turn a short drive into a long trek due to inefficient routes,” O’Toole said. “This luxury is extremely beneficial as students without cars have some ability to leave campus to… shop and reach many popular and exciting landmarks.”
Moreover, the increased availability of public transportation may positively affect prospective students interested in attending the University of Dallas. Admission Counselor Mike McEwan said it might also be helpful if it “increases the ability to get to Dallas,” which the new DART system certainly has done.
While students have been slow to try the bus system, students have spoken very highly of their experiences with the other branch of the DART, the DART Rail.
Freshman Andrew Narduzzi said he used the DART five times last semester and that it was “always enjoyable,” while junior Mark Pearson said that the system is great for attending Dallas Mavericks basketball games and Dallas Stars hockey games.
Junior Claire Sexton noted that the DART is particularly effective when traveling in large groups. Sexton took the DART rail to the Timeflies concert during the fall semester and said, “the ride was surprisingly fast and really convenient, especially because we were all able to travel together.”