Rail

DART airport station set to open 4 months early

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor

On Aug. 18, Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) will join the ranks of transit systems with rail connections to major airports as it opens its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) station four months ahead of schedule and under budget.

The five-mile Orange Line extension from Belt Line Station to the newly rebuilt Terminal A at DFW will bring the longest light rail system in the U.S. to 90 miles.

RELATED: Report: Rail to airport connections a growing trend

When the DFW Airport Station opens, riders will only need to walk about 300 feet from the station to the terminal, making it convenient for people traveling to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as for people who work at or near the airport, DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said.

“Opening a project of this complexity early and under budget is a great testament to the work of our DART team and our colleagues at DFW Airport,” Thomas said. “Support from the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was also crucial to beating the targeted opening.”

When the DFW Airport Station opens, riders will only need to walk about 300 feet from the station to Terminal A, making it convenient for people traveling to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth area and those who work at or near the airport.
When the DFW Airport Station opens, riders will only need to walk about 300 feet from the station to Terminal A, making it convenient for people traveling to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth area and those who work at or near the airport.
DART received a $5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant as well as a $119 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan for the rail extension to the station. The first section of the Orange Line received $61 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

DART initially planned to be finished with the station in December. However, as its project partner, DFW International Airport was building the station, and as the transit system handled the track work and catenary systems, they realized they were ahead of schedule. Together, they were able to pin down the opening date, allowing enough time to get all the required testing and integration completed in a timely manner and still have enough time for the training of DART’s operators.

Choosing an August opening date was particularly beneficial because that will make the station accessible before the State Fair of Texas, which starts in late September, and brings significantly high ridership, Thomas said. For example, over the last couple of years, the number of additional trips related to the fair was approximately 700,000 over a three-week period.

The project has also created about 60,000 jobs in and around DFW airport, from employees on airport property and businesses adjacent to it associated with hospitality, storage and logistics. The project created between 500 and 1,000 jobs not counting ancillary jobs, such as parts manufacturing, he added.

“All of those are solid employee bases, so I anticipate that this will be a well-used part of our system,” Thomas said. “I think that will only grow as time goes on.”

DART is currently projecting 1,200 trips per day going to the airport station, but Thomas said he can see that growing once more people become aware of the new station.

One challenge in completing the project was working with all the government entities that have control over the airport property.

“When you connect to the airport, you not only [work with] the FTA or Federal Railroad Administration, depending on your mode, you also have the FAA, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration,” Thomas explained.

However, he said the project has been a good team effort.

“It’s been fun to work on, and our partners at DFW have been great,” Thomas said.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Former Santa Clara VTA chief hired to oversee Honolulu rail project

Michael Burns will be responsible for overseeing the rail project’s finances, as well as the functioning of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board.

Alstom to extend Algeria's Constantine Tramway

Alstom, which will extend the tramway by 6 miles, will supply the integrated system, tracks, catenaries, telecommunications and signalling, substations and ticketing equipment.

$8.2B invested along 20 miles of Valley Metro light rail

Economic development within one-half mile of the system has been stimulated by ridership that has exceeded original projections. Valley Metro began compiling development activity since construction started in 2005 as part of an economic development database.

Alstom to deliver 17 trains to Algeria

The Coradia Polyvalent for Algeria is a dual-mode train (diesel and electric, 25 kV) able to travel at speeds up to 99 mph. The train has six carriages and provides capacity for 265 passengers.

Fla.'s TriRail adds bike car

The new bike car contains 14 racks that will provide more room to maneuver bicycles on and off the train. A set of seats were removed from the lower level of the vehicle to make room for the bike racks.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close