DART First State

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DART First State
(Delaware Transit Corporation)
DART 1st State Logo.png
DART Gillig Advantage hybrid 111.jpg
DART 1st State bus #111 in downtown Wilmington, Delaware at Rodney Square.
Parent Delaware Department of Transportation
Founded 1994
Headquarters Dover, Delaware
Locale Delaware
Service area Delaware
Service type Local and intercity bus service
Routes 62
Fleet 224 bus
303 paratransit[1]
Operator DART First State
Chief executive John Sisson
Website Official Website

The Delaware Transit Corporation, operating as DART First State, is the only public transportation system that operates throughout Delaware, USA. DART First State is a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Although most of its routes run in and around Wilmington and Newark in New Castle County and connect to two Cecil County, Maryland routes; DART operates bus route networks in the Dover area of Kent County; six year-round bus routes which hub at Georgetown in Sussex County, plus six seasonal routes connecting Rehoboth Beach and other beach towns in Sussex County and with Ocean City, Maryland.

DART was awarded the prestigious Public Transportation System Outstanding Achievement Award by the American Public Transportation Association in 2003.[2]

Fixed-route bus service[edit]

Former logo

New Castle County[edit]

DART 1st State bus 514 at the Christiana Mall Park & Ride on the #33 line.

DART First State operates 44 fixed route bus routes throughout New Castle County, the majority of which hub in downtown Wilmington at Rodney Square. Other major bus hubs in New Castle County include Newark Transit Hub and the Christiana Mall. Most routes operate Monday through Saturday with some Sunday service. All except 4 of these routes are directly operated by DART First State; the remaining 4 routes (Rts. 43, 59, 62 & 64) are operated by a third-party contractor.

Kent County[edit]

DART First State operates 13 fixed route bus routes within the Dover area. These bus routes operate Monday through Friday with some Saturday service out of the Dover Transit Center in downtown Dover as a hub-and-spoke system. These routes are numbered in the 100-series. In addition to the fixed-route service, GoLink Flex bus service provides service from points within the Dover area to a free transfer to a fixed route. This service is available on weekdays through advance reservations.

Sussex County[edit]

DART First State operates a total of 12 bus routes within Sussex County. Six of these routes offer year-round fixed route bus service within Sussex County and connect at Georgetown. During summer months, DART operates 5 additional seasonal bus routes branded as "Beach Bus" which hub at the Rehoboth Park and Ride and Lewes Park and Ride lots and offer connecting service to coastal communities along the Delaware shoreline and to Ocean City, Maryland from mid-May to mid-September. These routes are numbered in the 200-series. Three of the year-round routes are "Flex Routes", where passengers can make reservations for the bus to pick them up within a mile off the fixed route and also flag the bus at any location in designated Flag Zones; these routes are numbered in the 900-series.

Intercounty Service[edit]

DART First State operates three intercounty bus routes which connect the three separate systems. Route 301 operates weekday service between Downtown Wilmington, Christiana Mall, Middletown, Smyrna, and Dover and Route 302 operates weekday service between Newark and Dover via Glasgow, Middletown, Townsend, and Smyrna, connecting the New Castle and Kent Counties fixed route systems. Route 303 operates between Dover and Georgetown, connecting the Kent and Sussex Counties fixed route systems. During the summer months, DART First State operates Route 305 "Beach Connection" on weekends and holidays, connecting Wilmington, Christiana Mall, Middletown, and Dover with Lewes and Rehoboth Beach from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Paratransit service[edit]

DART First State offers paratransit service for people with disabilities who are unable to use fixed-route bus service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Paratransit trips that begin and end within 34 mile (1.2 km) of fixed-route bus service when such service operates are considered ADA Paratransit trips while all other trips are considered non-ADA Demand Response trips.[3]

Rail service[edit]

SEPTA Regional Rail train along the Wilmington/Newark Line at Wilmington station

DART First State, through the Delaware Department of Transportation, subsidizes the segment of the Wilmington/Newark Line of SEPTA Regional Rail within the State of Delaware. SEPTA operates the service under contract with DART First State. Signage at the Delaware stations differs from that at other SEPTA Regional Rail stations.

These trains originate in Philadelphia and operate to Wilmington station in Wilmington, with an intermediate stop at Claymont station. A few rush-hour trains continue on to Newark station in Newark, with an intermediate stop at Churchmans Crossing station, located near the Delaware Park horse racing track.[4]

Park and ride lots[edit]

There are 37 park and ride lots located throughout the state of Delaware, primarily in New Castle County, that allow motorists to park and transfer to DART First State buses or meet a carpool. There are also 12 park and pool lots in the state where motorists can park and meet a carpool.[5]


Most DART First State bus routes have a base cash fare of $2 as of February 2016. Cash fares must be paid in exact change. A reduced fare is available for senior citizens and disabled persons. Children under 46 inches in height and the blind ride for free. DART First State does not issue transfers; riders who use multiple buses must purchase a Day Pass. Intercounty bus routes along with Route 45 have zone fares based on distance traveled. Weekly or Monthly SEPTA TrailPasses can be used on buses in northern New Castle County.[6]

DART First State offers a stored value card called DARTCard that can be used to pay for single-ride bus fares or a Daily Pass. DARTCards are available in six denominations (Gold, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Platinum) ranging from $9.60 to $65.00 for regular fares along with a $14.00 Red DARTCard for reduced fares for senior citizens and disabled persons. DARTCards provide a discount off the regular fare, with the discount increasing the more expensive the card is. For example, the Gold DARTCard costs $9.60 and has a value of $12.00 for a 20% discount; while the Platinum DARTCard costs $65.00 and has a value of $108.00 for a 40% discount. The reduced fare DARTCard costs $14.00 and has a value of $46.00 for a 70% discount. DARTCards are not rechargeable and a new one must be purchased once the value is used up.[7] DARTCards are available from DART First State by purchasing over the phone, by mail, or online; they are also available at selected retailers across the state.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DART 1st State federal filings
  2. ^ http://www.deldot.gov/public.ejs?command=PublicNewsDisplay&id=1456
  3. ^ "Paratransit Services". DART First State. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Wilmington/Newark Line schedule" (PDF). SEPTA. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ "DART First State Park & Ride/Park & Pool Lots" (PDF). DART First State. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Fares". DART First State. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "DARTCard". DART First State. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "DARTCard Purchasing Outlets". DART First State. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]