January 2011

Dallas light rail opens on time, under budget

by Nicole Schlosser, Associate Editor

In addition to local funding provided by the one-percent sales tax collected in DART's 13 cities, support for the Green Line came from a $700-million Full Funding Grant Agreement from the FTA.

On Dec. 6, 2010 Dallas Area ­Rapid Transit (DART) marked the completion of its 28-mile, 20-station, $1.8 billion Green Line on schedule and under budget, when it opened 24 miles and 15 stations, creating new light rail connections for riders from southeast Dallas to the cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton in the northwest.

The first section of the Green Line opened in September 2009 and connects Pearl Station on the east side of Downtown Dallas to MLK, Jr. Station on the west side of Fair Park.

"The Green Line makes our system a little more complete," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. "We had north, south, northeast and southwest covered but we didn't have northwest or southeast covered."                

The additional line offers connections to more destinations popular among riders. "Customers living in Pleasant Grove now have seamless access to jobs at Baylor University, Downtown Dallas, the Market District, University of Texas-Southwestern/Parkland, Love Field Airport and Farmers Branch and Carrollton," explained Thomas. "Business owners all along the corridor can connect with new customers and new pools of prospective employees."

While DART already had bus coverage in the transit corridors now served by the Green Line extension, the rail provides quicker, more dependable service, Thomas added. For example, customers of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) who have been riding an express bus to Downtown Dallas will be able to transfer to the Green Line at Trinity Mills Station. The DCTA's A-Train is scheduled to open in summer 2011.

The new stations also represent 15 additions to DART's growing public art collection. Each station is designed to reflect the surrounding community, giving each station a unique look. Community volunteers, DART staff and station artists worked together for months on the new stations. The art may be found in windscreens, landscaping and fences at Lawnview Station or, a signature piece, such as the wayfinder monument at the North Carrollton/Frankford Station.


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