DART security app lets customers submit photos, video

Two months after a violent attack aboard a DART light rail train, the transit agency is quietly rolling out a customer security app.

The DART Say Something app hit app stores last week. It lets customers report incidents and shoot photos and videos that go to the DART dispatch center, all anonymously.

“We've seen the videos posted to individual social media accounts,” said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons. “What we'd like is to be able to get it so we can start acting on it right then.”

Videos, like the one from July showing a man beaten on a train and at the Deep Ellum Station, first showed up on social media.

“Our objective is keeping people safe -- but we also need the help of our customers to do that,” Lyons said.

While some in the video were arrested, not everyone was. DART still has not released its own platform video from the night. In 2015, DART also faced criticism after video of a suspected rapist at the Walnut Hill Station was not released until months later -- after the suspect was accused of raping again.

DART said it was unsure if the submitted photos and videos would be released to the public or for internal use only.

“We're so new into this, I think we're just going to have to take some time and see that,” Lyons said.

DART customers, many of whom already use DART'S GoPass fare app, say they'll give the new security app a try.

“They are taking care of their customer, especially with the recent stories, the recent incidents that have happened, it sounds like they are responding,” said Hanni Piirto.

Customers in a place with a bad signal, like the tunnel between Mockingbird Station and downtown Dallas, will still be able to use the app. DART said the system will send a text description first, store a photo or video and wait to send it when the signal improves.

“I would definitely use it because I think it will make the trains a lot safer,” said Ruben Arriaga.

The agency will push an awareness campaign for the app later this year.

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