Official Map: Dallas DART Light Rail System
Hot on the heels of Miami’s new Orange Line comes another one: this one belonging to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. This new line will eventually bring light rail to DFW airport, an essential transportation link in any large city, I feel.
Have we been there? No.
What we like: Relatively clean and simple compared to many American transit maps. The street grid is visible, but subsidiary to the main information. The downtown inset, which at first doesn’t seem to offer much more information that the main map, is actually a very nicely done orientation guide, especially with the reference to the streetcar, which is below the scale of the main map.
What we don’t like: Sometimes can’t decide if its a diagram or a map. The wiggle on the eastern end of the Blue Line before Rowlett seems totally unnecessary, and the new Orange Line jumps around all over the place.
Not sure about labelling stations in the same colour as the line they’re on: the orange is a very recessive colour compared to the others, and it means that stations that serve multiple lines get black. I would have preferred all station names in black, as it is arguably the most important information on the map.
I would have crossed the Green and Orange lines over each other at their eastern intersection, rather than the west to get a cleaner-looking T-junction after West End station. It’s also unfortunate that the Orange and Green lines are next to each other. As commenters pointed out on the Miami map, orange and green look very similar for colour-blind people.
Finally, it looks like US 75 and I-45 are missing their light grey centre stroke, as they’re the only two roads to be shown in a darker grey. And what happens to I-35W after it hits I-20 at the bottom left? It should continue south behind the legend, as US 67 does.
Our rating: A solid map, if not spectacular. Three stars.
(Source: Official DART website)