Commitment to Our Riders
The mission of DART First State and the Delaware Transit Corporation, an operating division of the Delaware Department of Transportation, is to design and provide the highest quality public transportation services that satisfy the needs of the customer and the community.
We aspire to be a premier transportation organization with accessible facilities and interconnected services incorporating state-of-the-art technologies. Our well-trained workforce, using clear communications and beneficial working partnerships, will enable us to connect people to their destinations in an affordable, safe, and efficient manner.
DART First State: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The present day modern, state-wide and multi-transit services of DART First State dates back to 1864, when the Wilmington City Railroad Company started horse and mule drawn 20-seat car service along several down town streets. In 1888, the Company introduced the state's first electric trolley car system and the first motor bus service began in 1925. 1938 saw the start of trackless electric trolley service.
In 1969 the privately owned transit system, operated by the Delaware Coach Company, became public by an act of the State Legislature. Overseen by the Delaware Department of Transportation, the Greater Wilmington Transportation Authority (GWTA) created and promoted a new name to stimulate public interest. The new name of the transit services became DART, the Delaware Authority for Regional Transit.
In 1994 the Delaware State Legislature created the Delaware Transit Corporation to manage and operate DART along with the Delaware Administration for Specialized Transport, Delaware Railroad Administration, and Commuter Services Administration. From this merger arose the name change to DART First State to take advantage of the well known DART name and to recognize that this service was now a statewide operation.
Today, DART First State provides transportation services statewide with over 400 buses and 57 year round bus routes plus its 8 bus route Sussex County Resort Summer Service and paratransit service. Today, DART First State also serves New Castle County with commuter rail service to and from Philadelphia. DART First State, brought forth by business, community and governmental visionaries over the last 13 decades, looks to the future to provide Delawareans with the highest quality of transportation in the next century.
Future plans include the upgrading of all bus stops and passenger shelters, providing even more new hybrid electric buses to its fleet, continuing efforts to go greener and protect our environment while cutting operating costs and maintaining a safe system for riders, and increasing mobility options for all users. Also underway is a five-year business plan to greatly improve all services and recognize the potential for increased partnerships with community, business, and governmental groups and officials to respond to the state's growth and development.
DelDOT's Early Years
The face of transportation has changed dramatically since the General Assembly first passed laws governing the use of automobiles in 1903. These laws, which required that all automobiles be equipped with a horn, bell or similar device, and that drivers slow down their automobiles when approaching a horse or mule-drawn carriage, may seem to be anachronistic today. But in that same year, the General Assembly also passed a State Aid Law, providing for joint state-country funding of new road construction, thereby providing the basis through which a modern-day highway department could have been developed.
The repeal of the State Aid Law due to public disfavor in 1905, however, represented a failure in the first attempt to centralize highway construction and postponed the development of a highway department in Delaware until 1917. In the meantime, the use of automobiles slowly started to increase. The first registration laws, which required vehicle owners to supply their own tags, file a declaration of competence to operate the vehicle, and pay a two dollar fee, were passed in 1905, and were soon followed by the issuing of operators' licenses for the first time in 1907. Only 313 cars were registered in 1907; by 1917, this number had grown to 10,702.
It was in this year, 1917, that the Delaware Highway Department was formed. In response to the 1916 Federal Highway Act, which provided financial assistance for highway construction only to those states with an organized highway department in place, Delaware's General Assembly passed the Highway Act of 1917. This act formed a centralized highway department with the authority to build and maintain a "permanent" highway system extending throughout the state. The Act encouraged the building and preservation of new highways, rather than the maintenance of existing dirt roads.
One of the major accomplishments of the young highway department was the completion of a boulevard stretching from a point near Wilmington to the Maryland line. This boulevard, initiated by General T. Coleman duPont in 1911 and now commonly known as Route 13, was completed entirely with private funding under the agreement that it would later be turned over to the state. Though the cost of the project, at $3,917,004, was financed privately, and the initial construction was completed by duPont's privately run corporation, the Highway Department took charge of the boulevard's construction in 1917 and finished it in 1924.
Although the Highway Department was freed from the expense of its first major project, it nevertheless had some difficulty in financing some of the state's other early roads. With the onset of the first fuel tax in 1923 (one cent per gallon), the state began to gain the revenue necessary to efficiently initiate further highway construction. Using this revenue, the Highway Department focused on consolidating, widening, and otherwise improving the state's primary roads from 1926 until 1935, while simultaneously developing a secondary road system. With its foundation in place, the Delaware Highway Department, now known as the Delaware Department of Transportation, began its now 85-year-old mission of designing, constructing, and maintaining safe transportation options for all of Delaware's residents and visitors.
DTC Management Team
John Sisson, Chief Executive Officer
DTC Executive Leadership Team
Mary Beth Palermo, Chief Human Resources Officer
Richard Paprcka, Chief Operating Officer
Edward Taylor, Chief Financial Officer
Julie Theyerl, Marketing & Public Affairs Officer
Luther Wynder, Chief Performance Officer
DTC Management Team
Beverly Barr-Ford, Benefits Administration Manager
Carmen Berrios, Procurement Manager
Webb Bell, Risk Manager
Marcella Brainard, Mobility Chief
Corey S. Burris, Customer Service Manager
Stephanie Burris, Deputy Chief Financial Officer
David Campbell, Program Support Chief
Jeff Gropp, Facilities & Capital Projects Manager
Bonnie Hitch, ADA Compliance Officer
L. Albert Loyola, Deputy Chief Performance Officer, Administration
Andy Markovitz, Labor Relations Manager
Charles Megginson, North District Maintenance Manager
Charles Moulds, Fixed Route Manager, Operations
Joseph Patson, Maintenance Manager, Operations
Paul Shertz, Treasury Manager
Catherine Smith, Planning Manager
Barbara Starkey, Fixed Asset/Project Grants Manager
John Syryla, South District Maintenance Manager
Denise Tyler, Employee Development Manager
Mary Wahl, Fiscal Manager
Margaret Webb, Paratransit Manager
Diana Williams, Compliance Officer
Kathy Wilson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer
Jennifer Wilson, Controller
James Woodruff, Employment Services Manager