The Skillman-635 DART station is the focus of a possible new development: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The Skillman-635 DART station: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

A slew of Lake Highlands, North Dallas and East Dallas residents (not to mention suburbanites, who, yes, also count) who choose public transportation in the form of DART rail ran into a big, and some say familiar, problem this morning.

Rail service shut down through downtown Dallas early Monday because of a problem with an electrical line, transit officials report.

DART spokesman Morgan Lyons told the Morning News that an overhead line near downtown was damaged at 5 a.m. “when a rail car’s pantograph (the part that delivers the electric current to the train) got tangled up.”

Bus shuttles picked up passengers at the Mockingbird, Baylor, Victory and Union Station, and shuttles delivered riders downtown as needed.

It could be mid-afternoon before service is restored, according to DART updates.

A frustrated Lake Highlands resident, Nick Polito, a regular DART rail commuter, says this happens too often and that he thinks DART could better handle this type of problem.

He posted the following message on social media as he waited with “2,000 others” for a ride downtown. (We share with his permission).

“I work in IT, and know support issues come up. When they do, I alert my users that there is a problem. I let them know what I am doing to resolve the issue,” Polito notes. “I give them a timeline so they know when to expect a resolution. Then I let them know that I am addressing the issue so that this will not be a problem in the future. I get DART alerts and I knew there was an issue at 6:30 this morning. Did not know what the problem was. I did not get a timeline. … and their disaster plan was very poor. Not enough trains at 8:30, over three hours after the original issue. People on the ground had no idea how to form correct lines and once we had trains they did not know how to load trains.”

Via its latest update at 9:45 a.m., DART apologized and thanked riders for their “continued patience.”