The modern era of Dallas streetcar service resumed Monday after a nearly 50 year absence with a 1.6 mile route from downtown’s Union Station to Oak Cliff’s Methodist Dallas Medical Center. This marks the first phase of Dallas’ modern streetcar system, with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) overseeing the City of Dallas project.
In addition to the city of Dallas and DART, other project partners include the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Project development was kick-started by $26 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants toward the project.
“Dallas is taking another notable step forward in its efforts to build an efficient, reliable, and connected transportation network that helps grow the region’s economy and connects hard-working families to jobs and opportunity,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “We’re calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that will make more projects like the Dallas Streetcar a reality.”
The starter line traverses the Trinity River corridor, which separates southern Dallas from the city’s largest employment centers. Specifically, the project targets commuters in mixed-use districts adjacent to downtown and helps connect them to transportation choices available in the city center.
The second phase, which extends the route to the shopping and dining of Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District, is expected to be completed by early 2016. The third segment, currently in planning, will expand the streetcar line to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and Omni Dallas Hotel.