DART Completes Vinyl Seat Upgrade on Light-Rail Fleet


The conversion from old and faded fabric to new vinyl seat covers on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light-rail fleet is complete. The agency refurnished more than 16,000 seats on 158 vehicles in its light-rail fleet, including 95 that have been in service for more than 25 years.

“This was a top priority for us coming out of the pandemic because we realized we needed to have surfaces that are easier to keep clean and sanitary, while providing a comfortable and inviting ride for our customers,” said Darryl Spencer, vice president of engineering and technical services development. “Being able to improve the look and feel of some of our oldest vehicles as we prepare to introduce new ones into light-rail service in the next few years is a win-win for everyone.”

The seating upgrade plan began at the beginning of 2024 with a single pilot train outfitted with new seats. Customers provided feedback through an in-vehicle survey, with more than 95 percent of those surveyed saying the new seats felt cleaner, more hygienic, and made the interior of the vehicle more refreshing. DART began retrofitting the older vehicles with new vinyl seating and once completed, rotated each vehicle into service on the Red, Blue, Green, and Orange Lines.

New vinyl seats on the four vehicles used to operate the Dallas Streetcar were also installed. DART will update the seating on five additional decommissioned trains to maintain spare seats and parts for future repairs and necessary replacements.

DART is in the process of orchestrating a Systems Modernization Plan that will help the agency achieve its strategic goals of providing a quality customer experience and creating seamless travel experiences. This plan includes the purchase of new light-rail vehicles and buses.