By Public Transportation
Until recently, Dallas was a typical Southern city covering a huge area but where there wasn't a lick of public transportation. Things have really improved with the addition of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses and light rail, whose coverage is constantly expanding out from the downtown area. Pick up a map at any visitor information center as well as most hotels and major attractions. Single-ride fare (no transfers) is $1.50 (75¢ for seniors, students, and children). Day passes are available for $3 ($1.50 for seniors, students, and children); for premium routes (serving the suburbs), the 1-day pass is $5 ($3 discounted). You can purchase single tickets and day passes from the new Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) on all rail station platforms.
Of particular interest to visitors (especially kids) in the downtown area is the free McKinney Avenue Streetcar Service (also called the M-Line Trolley), which travels from the Dallas Arts District to Cityplace Station and the West Village (it goes along McKinney Ave. from Uptown's Allen St. to downtown's Ross Ave. and St. Paul Ave., next to the Dallas Museum of Art). The vintage trolleys are from 1906, 1913, and 1920, and operate year-round between 7am and 10pm weekdays, 10am and 10pm weekends (every 15 min. during peak and lunch hours, every half-hour off-peak hours and weekends). The trolley is perfect for bar, gallery, and restaurant shopping in Uptown, and great for getting from hotels in the area to the Arts District downtown.
Note: I've included nearby DART Light Rail stations in the listings, but only when one is within a 20-minute walk of the hotel, restaurant, or attraction. For additional route and fare information for all of DART, call tel. 214/979-1111, or log on to www.dart.org.
You can now actually get around Dallas without a car, if you stick to the major downtown sights, hotels, and restaurants. However, if you want to visit shopping centers in North Dallas or outlying areas, like Arlington and Fort Worth, most people will be better off with an automobile. Be advised, though, that if your hotel doesn't have parking, street parking can be an expensive hassle in the downtown area.
The major car-rental agencies, which have outlets at DFW and Love Field airports and at several addresses throughout the Metroplex, include Alamo (tel. 800/462-5266; www.alamo.com), Avis (tel. 800/230-4898; www.avis.com), Budget (tel. 800/527-0700; www.budget.com), Dollar (tel. 800/800-3665; www.dollar.com), Enterprise (tel. 800/736-8222; www.enterprise.com), Hertz (tel. 800/654-3131; www.hertz.com), National (tel. 800/227-7368; www.nationalcar.com), and Thrifty (tel. 800/847-4389; www.thrifty.com).
Note: Yellow lights do little to slow down drivers in Dallas; even the running of red lights seems to have become epidemic in recent years, so be very careful before proceeding when the light turns green.
Don't expect to hail a cab as you would in midtown Manhattan, though you will find taxis parked in front of the bigger, upscale hotels and at the airports. Mostly, though, you'll need to call a cab. Among the more than dozen taxi companies are Cowboy Cab Company (tel. 214/428-0202) and Yellow Checker (tel. 214/426-6262).
Fares are $2.25 (initial drop) and 20¢ each additional 1/9 mile. Extras include a $2 extra passenger charge, a $3.60 airport exit fee, and a $2.60 airport drop-off fee.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.