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Newark Area Transit Study seeks feedback

Delaware Transit Corporation

The four transit providers in Newark are working together to study how to make their systems more effective.


DART, the University of Delaware, Cecil Transit and the City of Newark are working with a consultant and the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) to make their respective transit systems in Newark operate better together.

Anna Lynn Smith of engineering consultant WSP is working on the Newark Area Transit Study. She says the firm has already identified some issues from the perspective of riders.

“The buses not serving certain destinations that people are looking to go to, the buses don’t come frequently enough, they don’t go late enough, sometimes people want service on the weekends,” said Smith.

“I’ve actually found a report going back to the ‘90s and we had the same issues back then,” said WILMAPCO planner Heather Dunigan.

Dunigan says the study will also look to make services more cost-effective.

“People are looking maybe to see if there’s a way we can combine services to save money for taxpayers as well as provide better service for riders.”

Dunigan says most rides in Newark are taken on DART buses and UD’s shuttle service, which is free to students and employees. She notes ridership on these two transit systems largely do not overlap.

DART’s John Calnan says the coexistence of four transit providers in one city is unique in Delaware.

He says DART operates nine routes in the Newark area— wants to better serve residents and employers there while ideally not raising operating costs.

“We would examine [to] see if we could do this on a cost-neutral budget, resource reallocation. Or if there’s additional subsidies we could receive either from the state or some local partnership,” said Calnan.

The group of transit providers is seeking input from Newark residents and businesses through surveysonline at the WILMAPCO website.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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