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Rides that Connect: Closing the Last Mile Gap in West Dallas, Texas

How a partnership between DART, Toyota Mobility Foundation, and Circuit gave residents of a transit desert a new way to move forward

In January 2023, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) joined the existing partnership between Toyota and Circuit, an on-demand rideshare service, to increase accessibility in the neighborhood of West Dallas, a historically underserved community. 

After joining the project, the West Dallas Circulator has seen unprecedented ridership. Circuit’s flexible fleet of electric shuttles have been a perfect complement to the existing DART transit infrastructure. With the success of the initial partnership, DART announced in late October 2023 that they have extended the contract through 2024


Closing Last Mile Gaps and Plugging into DART

Circuit has been operating the West Dallas Circulator on-demand service since September 2020, and the expansion of the program with DART’s involvement has shown to be a forward thinking example for public-private partnerships in the transportation industry.

One of the key metrics for success in the DART pilot was connections to existing DART infrastructure. Microtransit, like Circuit’s operations, are best positioned to fill last-mile gaps in existing infrastructure because of their flexibility and adaptability. 

Fixed route transit, like DART’s existing bus and train routes, serve to move many people longer distances at an efficient rate, but getting to and from those routes becomes difficult in less-central regions of the transportation network where transit is more sparse. These regions are known as transit deserts. 

The West Dallas Circulator has seen notable connections between Circuit users and DART transportation. There are eight total DART stations (two rail, six bus) in the West Dallas Circulator service area. 

"The freedom of movement is transformative for the community."
—Circuit Driver Jakwan Riddick

Since September 2020, approximately 45% of total rides have either started or ended nearby one of DART’s bus stops or rail stations. As a result, DART West Dallas fixed-route services are among the top performing routes across the entire system.

Efficiency in Scale: Small is better

Circuit’s neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) provide a less-expensive fleet alternative to full scale buses and trains. By using Circuit’s on-demand app, riders are able to request a ride in the service area to come directly to them, instead of having to walk or drive to a transit connection. 

The DART subsidy per rider is approximately $4.06, significantly less than the $16.63 average of comparable microtransit programs. 

Additionally, the program’s shuttles are appropriate for shared rides, which increase the overall efficiency of the system. 70% of total rides in West Dallas in 2023 were shared rides. 

More than a ride: Connecting to the larger Dallas community

The microtransit program offers additional benefits to the community, like job creation (both direct and indirect), improved access to essential services, and reduced emissions. Since its inception, the West Dallas program has created over 14 local W2 jobs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 130 metric tons. 

The Circulator’s benefits are more than just numbers. Circuit connects people to the important places and people in their lives, without the burden of automobile ownership or the surge-pricing models of other ride hailing apps. 

“It was wonderful and convenient! It is important for our family to save gasoline, emissions, and reduce pollution as possible. This is a great option for our neighborhood!” - West Dallas Rider

The West Dallas Circulator aims to improve the community by increasing accessibility. The vehicles are driven by local drivers who foster long-term friendships with riders. Riders depend on Circuit to run essential errands, including doctor appointments, commuting to work and even picking kids up from school. 

For a historically underserved community, “the freedom of movement is transformative,” says Circuit driver Jakwan Riddick.


Interested in transforming your community through innovative transportation solutions? Reach out to the Circuit team today.

Mark Iannon

Mark Iannon

Public Partnerships Manager, West
Passionate about promoting public-private partnerships that result in increased mobility

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