Rebecca Bernard
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Navigating the US: Getting Around in Dallas, Texas

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The Dallas, Texas, skyline at night
Dallas Skyline
Photo: Daxis via CC

If you’re ready to explore the Lone Star State, consider checking out Dallas. This city brings cowboy charm to a modern metropolis, and has so many things to visit and do. As you’re mapping out when you can shop at Wild Bill’s Western Store, eat through the State Fair of Texas, or learn about history at the Fort Worth Stockyards, don’t forget that you also need to plan how to get around town. 

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Download before you go

When planning a trip to Dallas, there are a few apps you can download before you go to make things run smoother. If you’re driving your own car or using a rental, the Parkmobile app is your best friend. This mobile app lets you pay for parking using your smartphone instead of fishing around for coins or looking for the closest pay box. Like many other meter apps, you’ll get notifications when your time is running low so you can add more and avoid a ticket.

The public transit system around Dallas isn’t too shabby, utilizing trolleys, busses, and the light rail DART train. To conquer it, download the GoPass app to pay fares on the go. You can also use ticket vending machines or pre-purchase a GoPass tap card at local convenience stores, but using the app will help you start your ride quickly without looking for an open vendor. 

If you’re a Zipcar user, the carshare company has vehicles in Dallas. This means that you can find a car near you and then drive it where you need to go instead of having someone else pick you up with rideshare. Just make sure that you have a backup plan in case there’s not a car around when you’re ready to get going.

Toll roads

If you’re headed to Dallas, the area has quite a few toll roads, like the Dallas North Tollway, President George Bush Turnpike, and 360 Tollway. As of publication, the best way to pay is through the North Texas Tollway Authority’s TollTag. If you don’t have one of the devices, ZipCash invoices will be sent to the registered owner of a vehicle every month. You then have 25 days to pay your bill.

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The State Fair of Texas gate in Dallas
State Fair of Texas gate
Photo: bk1bennett via CC

Getting around

Once you’re finally on the ground in Dallas, you have options to help you get around. 

Car: Whether you drive into the city yourself or rent a car at the airport, Dallas is a very drivable city. A word of caution, however: The city’s rush hours run from about 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and they’re nothing to sneeze at.

Public transit: As noted in the section above, Dallas has a wide variety of public transit options. Even if you choose to use one of these other modes of transportation during your stay, you can use the DART train to get from the airport to downtown with ease.

Taxi and rideshare: Like many major metro areas, you can use rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft to get around town. If you prefer more traditional taxi services, check with your hotel for local company recommendations.

A trip to Dallas is sure to be a fun time. With a little preparation, navigating the big city is just as easy as driving around your hometown.