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D2 Subway: Dallas Central Business District (CBD) Second Light Rail Alignment

GET INVOLVED!

DART encourages you to attend the meetings and/or provide your comments via the project email address [email protected].

Several more opportunities for public participation will occur throughout Project Development.

WHAT IS THE D2 SUBWAY?

The D2 Subway project is a future second light rail line through downtown Dallas. DART began planning for D2 in 2007. Since then, several studies and planning efforts have been completed (see below for PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND). The most recent efforts resulted in both the Dallas City Council and the DART Board of Directors approving the D2 Subway Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in September 2017. The D2 Subway LPA (Commerce via Victory-Swiss) extends from Victory Park to Deep Ellum, primarily below Commerce Street through the heart of downtown Dallas.

D2 Subway Locally Preferred Alternative Commerce via Victory/Swiss

D2 Subway Locally Preferred Alternative  Commerce via Victory/Swiss

Project Description


Alignment

The Commerce alignment begins south of Victory Station. It moves through a switch off the existing alignment and then proceeds in a southeasterly direction within DART-owned right-of-way in the center of Museum Way and through the parking lot adjacent to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Adjacent to the Perot Museum will be an at-grade light rail station (Museum Way Station). After leaving the station, the alignment crosses under Woodall Rodgers Freeway at street level, and then begins its transition underground. The alignment enters a property currently occupied by a parking lot and descends into a tunnel. The alignment remains underground until IH 345. After passing under Hord Street near the Dallas World Aquarium, the alignment turns under Griffin Street. Between San Jacinto Avenue and Elm Street would be an underground station (Metro Center Station). This station would provide the ability to transfer to the West Transfer Center and the West End and Akard light rail stations.

After crossing under Main Street, the alignment would turn east under Belo Garden and follow under Commerce Street. While under Commerce another underground station is planned approximately between Akard and Ervay (Commerce Station). After passing under St. Paul Street, the alignment turns northeast under Main Street Garden Park. The alignment crosses diagonally across city blocks and there would another underground station (CBD East Station) between Main Street and Pacific Avenue. This station would provide opportunities to transfer to buses at the East Transfer Center.

After passing under Cesar Chavez Boulevard the alignment would begin the transition back to the surface. This transition would be under IH 345 and along Swiss Avenue. Immediately after getting back to the surface the alignment would come to a switch that would allow trains to move either north or south along rebuilt Good Latimer tracks.

Stations

The Commerce alignment would introduce four new stations, one surface station (Museum Way) and three underground stations (Metro Center, Commerce, and CBD East). The underground stations would be accessed by stairs, elevators and potentially escalators. The location and number of the access points will be evaluated as Project Development continues during more detailed preliminary engineering efforts. The access points could be provided in open spaces downtown, within the sidewalks or incorporated into existing buildings. The underground station infrastructure will also include emergency egress and ventilation shafts.

Routing Options

While the LPA is identified as Commerce, the DART Board of Directors resolution indicates that routing options along Pacific and Elm will continue to be examined. In addition, the Dallas City Council resolution states that potential alignment modifications may be considered.

D2 SUBWAY NEWSLETTERS

WHY IS D2 NEEDED?

The existing downtown light rail line is the at-grade Bryan-Pacific Transit Mall. The D2 Subway will help to ensure the sustainability of the DART system by providing needed capacity and improving system reliability and passenger service through downtown Dallas. Reliance upon one single LRT transit route through downtown constrains the ability of both DART and the region to implement additional radial light rail line projects or increase service levels on all existing radial light rail lines. Dependence on one single downtown mall also increases the risk for system wide service disruption due to incidents on the mall, such as traffic accidents and closure of the mall due to fire in adjacent buildings. The D2 Project Purpose and Need found that:
  • Capacity on the mall and some of the radial LRT lines is an issue now and becomes a critical issue by 2030, if not sooner.
  • Phasing of regional development and adjustments to demographic forecasts could have a significant impact on the timing of the D2 need.
  • An increasing number of all LRT riders (one quarter) will be coming from areas outside of the DART service area by 2035, affecting train capacity and crowding on radial lines outside of downtown Dallas, indicating that D2 capacity solutions will be of regional significance.
Once in place, DART proposes to reroute the Green and Orange Lines to the D2 Subway. The Red and Blue Lines would remain on the existing Transit Mall. Rerouting the Orange and Green lines will free up capacity on both downtown lines so that DART can insert additional train service to meet increasing ridership demands (see Operating Concept map below).

DART Rail Operations with D2 Subway

FTA PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

DART is following the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) process. The first phase is a two-year process called Project Development (PD) to complete Preliminary Engineering (PE) to support an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). FTA approved the original PD schedule based on the approval of the September 2015 LPA (see PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND), and anticipated that PD would be complete by November 2017. With the change in direction in Fall 2016 to pursue a subway option, and approval of the new D2 Subway LPA in September 2017, DART requested that PD be extended by two years to November 2019. In March 2018, FTA denied the extension. Thus, DART is continuing the PD process locally with FTA oversight. DART will resubmit the project to enter the FTA Engineering phase after this PD step is complete.

D2 Subway Project Development efforts will take approximately 18-months through early 2020. This will include preparation of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to assess the benefits, impacts and costs of the project. This SDEIS will build upon and update the 2010 DEIS (see PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND) and will be made available to the public for review and comment. During the review period, DART will hold public meetings and a formal public hearing on the project. Based on the SDEIS and public input a Final EIS will be prepared. The Final EIS will outline mitigation commitments to address identified impacts. The Final EIS will be made available for 30 days and is followed by a Record of Decision (ROD) from FTA, which closes the environmental process. A mitigation monitoring program is part of the FEIS and ROD and will be put in place as the project proceeds into Engineering and Construction.

FTA Project Development Process

FTA process chart

D2 SUBWAY PROJECT DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS

Several meetings will be held during the Project Development Phase of the D2 Subway Project., Below is a list of the meetings, where each meeting notation contains a link to a PDF file that contains meeting-specific information. The information varies by type of meeting. Please subscribe here to stay informed.

Stakeholder Committee Meetings

Public Meetings

  • Check back for future public meetings anticipated in Fall 2018

RELATED PROJECTS

D2 is being implemented as part of a program of interrelated projects aimed to improve capacity of the system and access and circulation in the downtown core. In addition to the D2 Subway, DART is advancing the Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions project, which entails modifications at 28 stations on the Red and Blue Lines to accommodate longer trains. FTA has approved DART into the Engineering phase of Project Development and final design is underway. Funding sources include $60 million from TxDOT, and $58 million from FTA through the Core Capacity program. Construction is anticipated to be complete in year 2021.

DART is also supporting the City of Dallas as they advance the Dallas Streetcar Central Link to connect the Union Station/Convention Center area to the McKinney Avenue Trolley in uptown near Klyde Warren Park. The Dallas City Council approved the Elm/Commerce alignment as the LPA for the Central Link on September 13, 2017 concurrent with their approval of the D2 Subway. DART is coordinating with the City of Dallas on next steps, including Project Development under the FTA Small Starts program, which is anticipated to start in mid-late 2018.

PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

DART began planning for D2 in 2007. Since then, several studies and planning efforts have been completed (see below) which led to approval of a mostly at-grade Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in September 2015. DART initiated Project Development (PD) for that LPA in November 2015, which included early preliminary engineering (PE) and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). During summer 2016, there were community concerns with the alignment and requests from the City of Dallas and key stakeholders to pursue a subway option. As a result, on October 25, 2016, the Board of Directors approved the FY17 Financial Plan, which doubled the project budget to $1.3 billion for development of a D2 Subway. Based on this action, DART initiated a LPA Refinement Phase in December 2016. This refinement phase entailed significant coordination with technical staff and downtown stakeholders, and resulted in both the Dallas City Council and the DART Board of Directors approving the D2 Subway LPA in September 2017.

To learn more about project history click on the links below:

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