- R.E Lopez & Morales Attorneys At Law
Free Ride-Share In West Dallas; Yes, Free: Here’s How It Works And Who Benefits
By Sriya Reddy
West Dallas native Demetrics Watson has been volunteering every day at the West Dallas Multipurpose Center for the last nine months.
She’s missed few days since she started using Circuit, a free West Dallas ride-sharing service that operates six vehicles weekdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., within a 3-mile area bordered by North Westmoreland Road, Canada Drive and Interstate 30. The service area also includes West End and EBJ Union Station.
The service operates like Uber — with its own app, Ride Circuit, found on the App store — though within the aforementioned boundaries.
“It helps a whole lot of people. There’s a whole lot of people that don’t go anywhere. They walk to the shops, they walk everywhere.” said Watson, 59. “I think that’s the best thing they did. That was the best thing for the community.”
DART and Toyota partnered to provide Circuit ride-share transportation in West Dallas, which has so far amounted to about 4,000 rides a month. Toyota had previously partnered with Circuit and has been providing transportation since 2020. The DART Board approved joining the partnership and funding an additional $215,000 to the cause in November 2022. DART created a Circuit one-year pilot program in 2023, and it hopes to soon add Circuit to its GoPass app.
Renita Graham, 65, has spent her days showing those at a nearby senior living facility how to use the Circuit app on their phones, encouraging them to use the transportation service to get out of their homes. Graham says she uses Circuit between three to five times a day to get to doctors, the laundromat or to pick up groceries for fellow seniors.
“When they didn’t have Circuit, people didn’t go anywhere,” Graham said.
Now, Graham said that the Circuit shuttles are filled, especially with other seniors, who, like Graham, use it multiple times a day.
Jing Xu, DART assistant vice president of service planning and scheduling, said that this partnership is important to DART because it supports existing public transportation services. DART already has GoLink, a similar on-demand ride-share service, in West Dallas, but the service area is west of the Circuit boundaries.
“It adds some supplemental services for DART main transit services,” she said. “We have bus rail going in that area, and the GoLink, but this one is additional, and it strengthens that connection into our main transit system.”
Xu said that these additional services will fill mobility gaps in West Dallas.
“DART’s participation in this on-demand shuttle service furthers the agency’s commitment to environmentally friendly shared mobility, local communities and economies in West Dallas,” Xu said. “This one-year pilot program will allow DART to evaluate service effectiveness before determining long-term goals and strategies in the area.”