Deep Ellum is extending a pilot program it began in April in which ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft must pick up and drop off customers in designated zones.
According to a release, the program will be extended for another year, through October 2020.
The Deep Ellum Foundation, in collaboration with Uber, Lyft, and newbie Alto, as well as the city of Dallas first instituted designated zones to ease congestion and related public safety concerns.
After six months in operation, ongoing evaluation, and an adjustment to hours of operations and location, they've decided the program is a win.
The zones are 1 to 2 blocks away from core activity in Deep Ellum, with the goal of improving traffic flow and emergency vehicle access in the area, and are in play during the busiest nights and weekends.
During the pilot, they made two significant changes in July:
- Changed the hours of operation from 24-7 to the busiest times of 9 pm on Thursday through 3 am on Sunday.
- Expanded the Pryor Street Zone to include a drop off and pick up point on Commerce Street.
In the next year, they vow to consider infrastructure improvements, signage, and zone adjustments or expansions as needed.
In a statement, Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano says they made strides over the summer as they worked to improve the program.
"Deep Ellum is an economic and cultural hub in the City of Dallas," Medrano says. "As the district continues to grow and thrive, we saw a need to address congestion while safely getting people to all the amazing venues Deep Ellum has to offer. This pilot is the first coordinated, neighborhood-wide designated rideshare drop off/ pick up zone program in the region and we have gotten calls both locally and from all over the country from other cities interested in launching similar programs."
There are also supportive statements from Jon Hetzel, President, Deep Ellum Foundation; Aaron Fox, Regional Director, Texas, Lyft; Travis Considine, Communications Manager for Uber Texas; and Stephanie Keller Hudiburg, Executive Director, Deep Ellum Foundation.
The five rideshare drop off/pick up zones are identified on:
- Good Latimer Expressway northbound between Main and Commerce Streets,
- Commerce Street eastbound between Crowdus Street and Malcolm X Boulevard,
- Pryor Street southbound between Main and Commerce Street AND extended zone on Commerce Street between Pryor and Henry Streets.
- Malcolm X Boulevard northbound between Indiana and Junius Streets, and
- Swiss Avenue westbound between N. Hawkins and Good Latimer Expressway.
The zones are identifiable via City signage stating the areas are designated for ride drop off/ pick up or rideshare driver staging as well as supplemental A-frame signs provided by the Deep Ellum Foundation.
Effective hours remain from 9 pm on Thursday through Sunday at 3 am.