In the city of Dallas, tear gas is out, but COVID-19 tests are in. The Dallas Streetcar will no longer be free. And we also have an update on the COVID-19 relief funds for small businesses in Dallas.
Here's some Dallas city news:
COVID testing blitz
There'll be a free COVID-19 testing blitz at Paul Quinn College campus, for five consecutive days beginning Saturday, July 25 through Wednesday, July 29, from 10 am-4 pm. The address is 3837 Simpson Stuart Rd., Dallas.
The testing is open to all. There is no residency or COVID-19 symptoms requirement. All screenings are free. Test results should be received in two to four days.
It's provided via a collaboration between the city of Dallas, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department.
For a full list of locations, visit Coronavirus Testing Sites or call 214-670-INFO.
DART electric buses
On June 27, Dallas Area Rapid Transit Among will debut emission-free electric buses on the Singleton Boulevard corridor. This is because the Downtown Dallas portion of Route 52 will be extended south on Lamar to terminate at Convention Center Station. The change enables DART to use electric buses on that route.
The electric buses are seven repurposed buses from the D-Link fleet. The D-Link route came to an end in March 2019. They were partially funded by a $7.6 million grant that also funded the infrastructure for the two overhead chargers installed at Convention Center Station. The electric buses have been providing service on route 749 for the last year.
Dallas Streetcar fare
DART will implement a $1 fare on the Dallas Streetcar beginning July 27. The fare was requested by the city of Dallas. It'll be implemented into DART’s current payment collection system, to be used towards operations and maintenance.
The $1 one-way fare is included with any valid DART pass or can be purchased with DART’s contactless payment options which include the GoPass app and GoPass Tap Card. There will be no cash fare option onboard and no ticket vending machines located at the stops.
The City of Dallas is continuing to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, says Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson, Chief of Economic Development & Neighborhood Services.
They're doing it via the Small Business Continuity Fund (SBCF) program, a partnership between the city, Dallas Development Fund (DDF), and National Development Council (NDC).
Since the funding opened in May, 46 grants have been approved, with an award total of $387,500. The average grant is $8,424. Six more loans are in the works, totaling $221,000, with an average loan amount of $36,833.
The SBCF program was designed to assist low-to-moderate income (LMI) microenterprise business owners with five or fewer employees, or small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that retain LMI workers within the city of Dallas. Businesses were given the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 maximum grant or a $50,000 maximum loan.
More than 1,000 businesses qualified for the grant program and nearly 400 businesses qualified for the loan program. Businesses were then ranked by lottery.
To track statistics, the Office of Economic Development has created a dashboard. The data from the dashboard can be filtered and searched by council district, award status, demographic information, and zip code. The dashboard is updated weekly and can be viewed on the City’s website.
No more tears
According to a new order from Chief Renee Hall, the Dallas Police Department will no longer use tear gas or rubber bullets, aka pepper ball, aka foam kinetic impact projectiles, during "First Amendment activity," aka peaceful demonstrations. "They can be used to control violence but not peaceful demonstrations," she says in a release.