DART Transit System
Why drive when you can ride? Sounds like a good marketing message for the DART Transit System, especially during the height of the tourist season when Coastal Highway can look like a parking lot. Earlier this summer, DART commissioned a production company to create a video for the “Beach Bus” encouraging people to use the transit system. It featured the squeaky-clean Lewes Transit Center and the Cape May Depot. Buses are also clean, punctual, and pleasantly air-conditioned during the summer.
Taking the bus instead of bucking clogged roads and scarce or expensive parking spots certainly is a viable alternative. A word of caution though, if you use cash, it must be exactly the appropriate fare since the bus drivers do not give change. The reduced fare rate for seniors 65 and over is 80 cents per ride.
An alternative for those who plan to ride frequently is to download the DART mobile app. Downloading and correctly navigating it may be the biggest challenge. Selecting the wrong option on the app can lead to a frustrating experience. One customer tried repeatedly to reach someone in the customer service department to switch allocated funds from the wrong option to the correct one. Three days later, there still was no response despite the individual leaving multiple messages.
However, once the app is set up and functioning properly, using the DART service is relatively easy and routes are more extensive than just cruising up and down Coastal Highway. The Blue Line bus goes all the way to Ocean City, MD. The purple line travels to Massey’s Landing in Pots Nets. The red line can take you to Dover and Wilmington, the yellow line goes to Lewes, including the Cape May Ferry Terminal, and the green line goes to Georgetown. All lines operate both coming and going.
The 201 Red line (Zone 1) is probably the most popular since it connects the Lewes Transit Center (near the Lowes Store) and downtown Rehoboth Beach. The line stops along the way and winds up at the bandstand in the heart of Rehoboth. There is ample parking at the Lewes Transit Center. All buses are equipped to handle wheelchairs and bikes and there are multiple stops making it easy to frequent popular spots along the highway.
Using the bus to get to weekend concerts at the Rehoboth Bandstand is easy, especially for seniors. The bus stops right at the venue, so it is a quick walk. It picks up along the way. Getting home can be tricky since everyone wants to leave at the same time so patience is the key element for ending an evening out on a positive note. Buses might not be that plentiful. Fortunately, most concerts end at 9:15 pm
Costs for non-senior rates are reasonable. The regular adult fare for Zone 1 is $2.00 each way and $1.00 for students. Children (46 inches high and under are free as are blinded adults. Additional pass options are available, and all costs are listed on the DART web site and in numerous brochures that can be found at the Lewes Transit Center.
If you have questions about how to access the app, then go to the Lewes Transit Center and talk to Dickie. He is a wealth of information. The general phone number for DART is 1-800-652-DART.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland.