Dallas Area Rapid Transit Safety & Security Campaign Spring 2012 to Present
Dallas Area Rapid Transit 2013 Stats Geographic Service Area: 13 cities, 700 square miles 612 buses/12,500 stops (38.7 million passenger trips) 163 LRV cars/85 miles of light rail (27.7 million passenger trips) So, what could go wrong?
A confluence of unfortunate events… Beginning in late 2011, a series of isolated but heavily publicized events created a perception among some of the public that using Dallas Area Rapid Transit was unsafe. DART Management and Police developed a plan to increase the real safety and security of DART ridership, and launched an awareness campaign promoting the effort. This presentation details the campaign called “It’s Our DART. Let’s Keep it Safe”. Beginning in late 2011, a series of isolated but heavily publicized events created a perception among some of the public that using Dallas Area Rapid Transit was unsafe. DART Management and Police developed a plan to increase the real safety and security of DART ridership, and launched an awareness campaign promoting the effort. This presentation details the campaign called “It’s Our DART. Let’s Keep it Safe”.
Spiraling media attention… Person hit by a light rail train at night, a suicide Assault at a platform by a group of youths, young victim hit by a rail car and died Bus operator assaulted at night Shooting at a DART platform, in a confrontation between passengers Thieves snatch laptops and cell phones from DART passengers Gun battle between shooter and local police, near DART tracks Into early spring of 2012, DART-related accidents and incidents:
Needed Immediately: A plan and response Assess Almost all DART passenger trips accomplished safely and on time. Act First step: Increase the number of police officers on board. Identify Perceived and real dangers or security issues which had troubled some riders. Opportunity Develop customer messaging to convey action.
Meeting a timing challenge Develop the message and theme, write copy, use existing photography, produce print and other media within two weeks of decision to launch the Safety and Security campaign.
On-board interviews with DART Executive, Police and City of Dallas leaders Officials and dignitaries on board explained and detailed new safety measures to media Volunteer DART teams met morning passengers at all rail stations New web page with updated safety messaging Energetic launch in the full light of news media, at first Monday morning rail departure from a key station: PR launch strategy
Fast-tracked passenger safety tools, amenities TEXT 41411 to DARTpolice No audible phone call Immediate police response to customer Further communication monitored System-wide security cameras
Broad distribution of the message DART bus and rail interiors and exteriors, windscreens, downtown corner markers Campaign materials featured in television event coverage Online link to details of the program at DART.org, m.dart.org, Twitter, Facebook Drive time radio spot coverage
2013 Crime reports: offenses down across all types Revenue up 6% (with no corresponding ridership increase indicates a fare evasion drop) Texting to DART Police has resurged with awareness Customer satisfaction survey indicates average 70% overall rider satisfaction with safety Results: campaign’s effectiveness State Fair Fewer people “testing system” Officers on platforms/security awareness push
Infotainment Screens on board new CNG bus fleet Continued distribution of print materials on-board and via Community Outreach Continued campaign support
Commitment to Safety & Security 1.New DART CNG bus fleet with 5 cameras recording all activity. 2.Expansion of network of solar lighted bus shelters (FY13-FY17). 1.DART Police highly visible on DART buses, trains and at DART facilities. 2.Increased patrols in tunnels and key locations. 1.Continued use of plainclothes officers in vehicles and buildings. 2.DART sharing intelligence with law enforcement agencies. 3.DART participation in local/regional task forces and preparedness plans. 4.GoPass SM, Travel Tools (Where’s My Bus? TM, Where’s My Train?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmDzQT1WWtI
Recognition for the campaign The DART Safety & Security campaign has not only been effective in communicating DART’s steps to make its system safer for passengers, but has also won recognition from transit industry and other organizations. 2012 Dallas Quill Awards, Award of Excellence (Top honor) 2102 South West Transit Association, 1st Place – Spotlight Award 2013 International Association of Business Communicators – Award of Excellence (First Place) and Best of Show (First Place)