DART to conduct comprehensive study on services

Recommendations could bring expanded services to state, Sussex County
December 1, 2022

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Rehoboth Beach Ale House On The Mile
20859 Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

Looking to improve customer transportation options in Sussex County and across the state, DART First State will be undergoing a comprehensive study in 2023.

The study is going to be called DART Reimagined, said Delaware Transit Corp. CEO John Sisson to members of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. The study will examine how DART can accommodate more neighborhoods and more riders while maintaining efficiency, he said.

“We want to know where growth is happening,” said Sisson.

About this time of year, DART representatives often come to the chamber’s monthly lunch to review the past summer and discuss possible changes for the next summer. That’s why Sisson was at the Nov. 16 meeting.

Without indicating what possible improvements or changes could be, Sisson said the study will begin early next year with public meetings and information gathering. The expectation, he said, is recommendations will be made and then evaluated by the end of next year, with possible implementation for fiscal year 2025, which would begin in June 2024.

In addition to the study, Sisson said DART continues to make its bus fleet greener by incorporating electric buses. About 10% of the total fleet is electric, he said, adding that the Lewes Transit Center has the ability to charge a bus while passengers load and unload, because there’s a charging portal on top of the bus.

Sisson said DART is looking at increasing the frequency of its beach connection route that begins in Wilmington and ends in Rehoboth, with stops in between.

DART Connect, a microtransit service, was launched in April 2021. Sisson said in the roughly 18 months since the program launched, DART has provided more than 30,000 rides. It's going to continue to grow, and DART is going to see how that growth applies to eastern Sussex County, he said.

It’s not just ridership services; the local transit centers are also on the to-do list for DART, he said.

The Lewes Transit Center opened years ago, but the opening of an onsite maintenance facility has been delayed. Sisson said the facility should open in the next couple of months.

Sisson also briefly touched on the Rehoboth Park & Ride, which is set to undergo a major renovation project thanks to a $5.4 million grant from the federal government. Improvements include a new administrative building with a climate-controlled waiting area, restrooms and ticket sales area; eight new bus-boarding areas for an expanding zero-emission bus fleet; self-sustaining microgrid fed by on-site solar generation; public electric vehicle charging ports; a new electric bus maintenance facility; sheltered bicycle parking and repair stations; improved site layout that will enhance circulation and provide additional park-and-ride spaces; and pedestrian and bike connectivity to adjacent routes and communities.

The 2023 Beach Bus season will run May 22 to Sept. 10.


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