Downtown Dallas, Inc. promotes transit commutes Employees embrace multimodal travel By Matt Thomas, Downtown Dallas, Inc. Downtown Dallas, Inc. and DART have a deep-rooted relationship. For more than a decade, DDI – the nonprofit organization supporting the safety and improvement of greater Downtown Dallas – has participated in DART’s Employer Annual Pass Program. Downtown Dallas, Inc. President and CEO Kourtny Garrett says DDI pays for annual passes because it gives our employees options. “The program also supports our values as an organization to promote public transit use and is consistent with trends in today’s workforce, particularly the desires of young talent,” Garrett said. “As we continue to work with DART and the city of Dallas to improve and expand multimodal transportation options, it is important that we set the example for other downtown employers.” Approximately 30 DDI employees, including members of our Downtown Safety Patrol and Clean Team, use DART either daily or several times a week to commute to the city’s urban core. When I started working for DDI in July as the new communications director, I began riding the Red Line from Downtown Plano Station to the West End. It’s nice to look out from the train at the traffic crawling along Central Expressway every morning and afternoon and not have to worry about that added stress. My colleague, Doug Prude, economic development and planning analyst, has used the light rail to get to work in the Main Street District since joining DDI last year. Growing our ranks: Veterans wanted People who attended the Dallas Veterans Day Parade learned that DART wants to hire more military veterans. The agency had a wrapped bus in the parade escorted by DART employees. The agency’s Nov. 10 parade participation is part of an ongoing initiative to increase diversity among those who apply for and obtain jobs at the transit agency. Currently, 13 percent of DART’s workforce consists of military veterans, but the agency would like to raise that to 16 percent or more. 4 “DART is a veteran-friendly employer,” Human Capital talent specialist Stefon Chandler said. “These individuals are experienced government employees who possess characteristics we value, like discipline, timeliness, respect for authority and goal-orientation.” This year, DART recruiters have attended more than 10 veterans career fairs; posted open positions on job boards at Vets.gov and AlliesInService.org; and worked with several local job clubs. The agency also hosts an annual appreciation event for current and former employees who are former members of the military, and involves veterans in its hiring activities. Downtown Dallas, Inc. staff have a short walk to their office in Bank of America Plaza from DART’s West End transit facilities. “DART gets me to work consistently on time. It removes variables like traffic, construction and most weather, while allowing me time to catch up on news and sports, check emails and calendar appointments, or watch a show that I’ve downloaded to my phone,” Prude said. “Taking transit removes the hassle of finding a parking spot and cuts the costs of maintaining and fueling my SUV.” A wrapped bus encourages military veterans to apply for jobs at DART.

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