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VentureForth

Dallas DART Rider Gets Jumped

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A passenger on Dallas' DART light rail system was assaulted after he asked fellow passengers to stop smoking pot on the train:

 

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/08/01/dart-passenger-jumped-beaten-after-asking-man-to-stop-smoking/

 

Can't afford to have a cop on every train. Perhaps DART should have considered a closed "gated" system. Not danger proof, but a bit easier to contain, imho...

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Proof-of-payment (POP), which DART uses, is standard (although not universal) practice except on extremely high ridership systems and legacy subway/metro systems. Most newer light rail systems aren't really compatible with fare gates anyway, what with so many stations located at grade. (Fare gates/turnstiles really only work if most stations are located above or below ground and access is restricted to a couple subway entrances or el/L entrances per station.)

 

And there is nothing to prevent passengers who pass through turnstiles from then breaking laws, rules, and regulations either. I'd rather have an "open" (POP) system with roving fare inspectors and security personnel than a "closed" (fare gate) system with no fare inspectors and potentially fewer security personnel. It's typically been demonstrated to be less expensive to have fare inspectors than to maintain a fare gate/turnstile system except for ridership levels unseen in most US cities.

 

Having said that, if this is simply a one-off/extremely rare incident, it sort of comes down to "**** happens" and transit isn't immune to occasional crime. But, if it's a trend, then DART (and/or the city of Dallas and the various suburban jurisdictions) need to consider increasing the visibility of security personnel around the DART system.

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In addition to the gated and POP systems, some light rail lines use a bus-style payment machine at the doors. Two systems I know of that use this are the Pittsburgh Light Rail and SEPTA Subway Surface Trolleys.

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You're probably right. The NYC Subway system gets plenty of trouble in its gated system. I just 'feel' that there is better opportunity for security, but I suppose that's just a gut reaction.

 

Perhaps the more prevalent crime is freeloading.

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