Today, we're excited to kick off a new blog series where we will be highlighting Spare's various customers around the world and the incredible work they do. Our series starts over in Dallas, Texas, where Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is building the future of public transportation through their revolutionary platform, the GoPass Platform.
But first, a history lesson! For over thirty-five years, DART has been a leader in delivering world-class transit services in the Dallas metro area. DART was formed in 1983 when 58% percent of voters in 14 Dallas County cities cast ballots in favor of a one-cent local tax to help fund regional transportation. DART replaced the city-run Dallas Transit System (DTS), which only had limited reach within the region. From there, DART was left with a pretty lofty challenge — building a public transit system that covers a land area of 1,800 square kilometers (700 sq. miles) in a city with sprawling highway infrastructure that hovers well over 40 degrees celsius (104 F) all summer long.
DART began chipping away at this challenge by introducing a bus infrastructure across its service area and in 1996 introduced DART Rail — a service that would become the longest light rail line in North America.
The transportation landscape, however, changes quickly, and DART has been incredibly fast to react. With the massive adoption of smartphones in the late 2000s, DART sprang into action and in September of 2013 introduced the GoPass app, a comprehensive mobile ticketing solution for the entire transit agency. With GoPass, DART became the first public transit mobile ticketing app in the nation to involve multiple agencies and to combine different types of transportation in one place. The GoPass app led a fundamental shift in what DART was capable of providing, not just to customers of DART, but also to transit agency partners in the area.
With the introduction of mobile phones, lightning fast mobile internet, comprehensive open-source mapping, and massive improvements in computational capabilities, on-demand transit (that's us!), also became a reality. For the past few years, Spare has had the privilege of working with DART and Unwire, the developer of GoPass, to deploy GoLink, a massive on-demand transit system for DART.
Through the GoPass and GoLink project, DART has been a fantastic partner for Spare and is ushering in what we believe is truly the next generation public transit — a connected, multimodal transit experience that provides high-quality transportation options to users across the entire service area.
With GoPass, DART customers can now purchase tickets, plan and book a multimodal trip that includes on-demand transit, track their rides, view ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft, and even see upcoming events in the area. This incredible platform has led DART to win the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Innovation Award in July this year, demonstrating how far ahead DART is in the space.
The future is bright for GoPass and GoLink. DART GoLink is now live across 13 zones in the DART service area and is on a roadmap to make a massive impact for the people of Dallas going forward. GoPass has been incredibly well received by DART customers and has fundamentally changed the way people commute. For Spare, it has been an absolute joy to work with partners so willing to push the boundaries and create a future that many can't even imagine. We look forward to seeing what's next!