Since Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) inception in 1996, they have helped millions of locals get to their jobs, schools and entertainment venues. Until the beginning of this year, students had to pay regular fares at $5 a day, or $80 a month to use DART. It was another added expense for students without a car who notoriously lack funds.
Enter the DART Student GoPass. It lets students in the Dallas Community College system ride DART for free, provided they are enrolled for at least six credit hours in the fall, spring or three credit hours during a minimester. This useful tool was negotiated by John Robertson, chief financial adviser of the Dallas Community College system. He believes the program will “help remove student barriers to getting an education, and eventually a certificate or degree.”
Many of the students attending Richland do not own a vehicle and rely on the Student GoPass to better their lives. In a survey conducted by this writer, 27 percent of Richland students use the GoPass app when attending school, extracurricular activities and getting around town. In another survey, 62 percent of students knew about the DART Student GoPass, but not necessarily how to get it.
Dalton Clay, a Richland game design and development student, said, “Not having a car makes life in the Metroplex difficult. DCCCD and DART have made it much easier. If it weren’t for the GoPass, I wouldn’t be able to go to school at all.”
Clay also said that it took him nearly a week to find the link on the eConnect website that allowed him to fill out his application for approval. He said, “It was a painless process once I was in, but finding it wasn’t easy.”
Daniel Stephens, a Richland philosophy major, was asked if there was anything he would do to improve the system that is currently in place for Student GoPass applications and approvals.
“I don’t think I should have to peel off and reapply a new sticker every semester. It’s much more difficult when you don’t have a smartphone because you don’t have the GoPass app.”
The system is still in its infancy, but the students who use it say they love it. The Student GoPass is likely to be around for a while
To apply for a Student GoPass, log on to eConnect.dcccd.edu, and look for a link under “My Personal Information” titled “My DART GoPass Application.” Just answer a few questions about yourself and your education and 10 days later, you’ll receive a confirmation with two options: Either download the GoPass app or go to the business office and they will put a physical sticker on your student ID.