Friday, January 24, 2014

Totally Texas -- In the pink with Dallas D-Link

When I first noticed the shorter than usual, bright pink buses last fall hanging around Dealey Plaza, I feared they were short-term solutions to the influx of visitors for the JKF assassination commemoration. After all, the new buses looked a lot like the old, pink, bunny-eared hop-a-buses that Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s board long ago decried as “undignified.”

Fortunately, wiser, perhaps less dignified voices prevailed. The bunny buses, renamed D-Link and minus their ears, are back to stay. And they traverse not only downtown but hop across the Trinity River to North Oak Cliff.

One of my complaints about DART has been the long walks needed to get from the rail stops in downtown to some of my family’s favorite venues, the Arts District, Klyde Warren Park, and the West End museums. And getting to the newly-trendy Bishop Arts District and historic movie houses in Oak Cliff? Forget about it, except by driving or doing some serious poring over DART bus routes. Now there’s only route number to remember--722, labeled in pink at local bus stops.

And only one scheduled time to remember--15. Yes, only fifteen minutes between buses at any stop between 11 a.m. and late night (after 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., depending on the area). Most bus stops have pick-ups until midnight. Or text 41411 plus the route number listed on each stop’s signs and get a return text telling you when the next bus will arrive.

Buses run Monday through Saturday. They don’t run on Sunday yet, but we can always hope. 
Because of their round trip loops, each bus goes twice through downtown and Oak Cliff. If in doubt which bus to hop aboard, point yourself in the direction you want to go and stay on the right side of the street.

I found that if I was even in the vicinity of a stop (especially with a confused expression on my face) D-Link drivers pulled over and offered help getting me to the right place. Or plan a trip at

The downtown route goes by Main Street Gardens, Belo Gardens, Klyde Warren Park, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and the Old Red Museum, among other attractions.

In Oak Cliff, buses go by the Bishop Arts District, the historic Kessler and Texas theaters, and independent bookstore, Lucky Dog Books.

I had a DART ticket out of my pocket, from the train I’d deboarded at the Pearl Street station downtown, but I didn't need to show it. Jaunts on the D-Link buses are free, always my favorite price.

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