Many students noticed the missing Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) stickers glinting on their student IDs when they picked them up at the Campus Safety Office upon returning to classes in late August.
The University of Dallas will no longer be offering the subsidized DART passes to students.
The university participated in the DART Higher Education Pass Program from Aug. 2012 to May 2015. This program provided semester DART passes to full-time undergraduates, allowing students to access the DART train and bus systems.
Director of Student Life Doré Madere said that students did not seem to be taking advantage of the university-subsidized DART passes.
“Informal studies and polls showed the administration that students were not using the DART as frequently as anticipated,” Madere said. “The decision was made to reallocate the money formerly used to pay for the DART passes to Student Life and Student Activities in order to enhance programs and services for the students.”
The administration did not disclose the amount of money spent annually on the pass program.
“This was not a matter of losing money,” Madere said. “It was more of a decision to invest money into the students in a different manner.”
Some students are not concerned about the change because it will not impact them directly.
“It doesn’t affect me because I got my car this semester,” sophomore Hope Gniewek said.
Students used the DART to access a wide variety of events and activities and events in Dallas, commute to work or leave the city through DFW airport.
“I use the DART for errands, art class assignments at the DMA and getting out of the ‘bubble,’” freshman Brad Cleaver said.
Students have the option to apply for a reduced-cost $40 monthly pass known as the DART Reduced College/Trade School Student ID. Applications are available in the Office of Student Life.
“Students will have to have the application stamped by the Registrar’s office before taking it to the DART headquarters to have their IDs made,” Madere said.
The DART headquarters are located at Akard Station, 1401 Pacific Ave, Dallas, TX 75202. Students can bring applications Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. or 2-4 p.m.
Hope remains for avid DART users, according to Madere, who said that the administration could bring back the program if enough students express interest, as some have.
“A lot of places in Dallas are hard to get to by car… it was so much more economical to use the DART,” sophomore Andrew Doyle said.
At any DART train station, students can purchase discounted daily or hourly passes.
“I have a car, but I’m not allowed to drive very far, so it’s very useful to have a pass,” commuting sophomore Emma Rodin said.
Students can also purchase discounted daily or hourly passes at any DART station. Students are encouraged to use the DART as ticket prices are fairly inexpensive at only a few dollars.
“Last year, I took [the DART] for granted, but now that I have to pay for it, it won’t necessarily limit my use but it will make me probably plan things out better,” sophomore Maria D’Anselmi said.