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Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Priorities Report 2015

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A combination of capital projects will improve DART's ability to move more trains - and people - through downtown Dallas effectively.
A combination of capital projects will improve DART's ability to move more trains - and people - through downtown Dallas effectively.
 

PROJECTS WILL EXPAND
CORE CAPACITY



For DART, the "core" of the transit system is in downtown Dallas. All four lines of DART Light Rail converge and run on the same track through the Dallas Central Business District (CBD) transitway mall. "Capacity" is the number of people or vehicles that can be moved during any given hour.



Planned rail expansion downtown includes a stop near the Omni Dallas Hotel, currently served by D-Link.
Planned rail expansion downtown includes a stop near the Omni Dallas Hotel, currently served by D-Link.
   The lines operate on 15-minute peak service, which results in an average 3.75-minute combined headway (time between trains).

The agency is obligated by an interlocal agreement with the city of Dallas to begin planning for a second downtown alignment (D2) when either the headways or the passenger capacity reaches its limit. DART Rail has reached the maximum number of trains during peak service that the infrastructure can handle. Although the passenger loads are not at full capacity, regional growth and planned transit expansion eventually will necessitate additional service.

Planning for D2 began in 2007, and the draft environmental document was published in 2010. Changed conditions warrant additional analysis of alternatives for the alignment, including:
  • Completion of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan by the city of Dallas
  • Opening of the Omni Dallas Hotel and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • Opening of the Dallas Streetcar Project and the St. Paul/Olive loop of the M-Line Trolley this year
  • Planning for high-speed rail by a private developer
Further, DART's current 20-Year Financial Plan lacks sufficient resources to construct D2 before 2030. Federal funding would help DART construct D2 sooner.


  
Program of Interrelated Projects
  To increase system capacity and operational flexibility downtown, DART is designing a program of interrelated projects that includes platform extensions, the first phase of the second downtown rail alignment and a new streetcar line.
To increase system capacity and operational flexibility downtown, DART is designing a program of interrelated projects that includes platform extensions, the first phase of the second downtown rail alignment and a new streetcar line.

Seeking Federal Assistance

Within the category of Capital Investment Grants, MAP-21 expanded eligibility to include Core Capacity Improvement projects. These grants are designed to aid maturing transit agencies like DART, which need to expand the passenger capacity of major, fixed-guideway transit corridors that will reach their limit within five years.

MAP-21 also allows transit agencies to develop simultaneously a combination of multiple New Starts and/or Core Capacity projects as a "program." Rather than evaluating each project individually, the Federal Transit Administration would evaluate the entire program of projects as one package.

Projects in a program of interrelated projects must have "logical connectivity" and be built within a "reasonable time" of each other to keep the federal funding. By advancing multiple projects simultaneously, agencies would be able to reduce costs. The agency hopes core capacity grant programs will be included and expanded in the authorization of the next surface transportation bill.



Adding Capacity Downtown

The agency has identified its own Program of Interrelated Projects that would expand core capacity by 67 percent until D2 can be constructed. DART currently has a significant amount of discretionary federal funding related to the core capacity projects programmed into the Financial Plan through 2020. If this funding is not received, some projects may need to be deferred.

DART is working with the Federal Transit Administration and the American Public Transportation Association to define the criteria for core capacity grants so that maturing transit systems can qualify.

View the Proposed Program of Interrelated Projects brochure (PDF file opens in a new window)
 
Platform Extensions
on Red and Blue Lines

DART can operate three-car trains (495 passengers) - the maximum length that is still shorter than the shortest city block in downtown Dallas - on the more recently built Green and Orange lines. Outside of the Dallas CBD, the platforms at 28 Red and Blue line stations can accommodate only two-car trains (330 passengers).

While DART cannot increase train frequency at this time, by lengthening the platforms at these Red and Blue line stations, it can make each train longer. The same number of trains would pass through the CBD, but each would be able to carry more passengers.

DART is designing a project that will extend the platforms at these older stations by approximately 100 feet and raise the platform height to provide level boarding at all doors in preparation for light rail vehicle fleet replacement, which begins in 2025.

The ability to run three-car trains throughout the rail system would increase system capacity and provide operational flexibility.

Extending the platforms at 28 Red and Blue line stations outside of downtown Dallas will enable DART to operate three-car trains on all rail lines.
Extending the platforms at 28 Red and Blue line stations outside of downtown Dallas will enable DART to operate three-car trains on all rail lines.
      Customers can use either DART's GoPass app or mobile website to look up arrival times, view rider alerts or use other travel planning tools.
Customers can use either DART's GoPass app or mobile website to look up arrival times, view rider alerts or use other travel planning tools.
 
D2 - Phase 1

Construction of the northern segment of D2, known as Phase 1, would allow DART to relieve some congestion in the current CBD transitway mall until the entire second alignment can be built. Under Phase 1, the Orange Line would be rerouted to an alignment that branches off at Victory Station and terminates at a new station serving the Union Station/Convention Center area.

The agency would construct two additional stations: one in the Victory Park district and one near the transit hub comprised of West End Station, CBD West Transfer Center and Rosa Parks Plaza.

DART and the city of Dallas hope to build a central Dallas streetcar link that would connect the Dallas Streetcar line to the M-Line Trolley line, which will soon loop through the Dallas Arts District.
DART and the city of Dallas hope to build a central Dallas streetcar link that would connect the Dallas Streetcar line to the M-Line Trolley line, which will soon loop through the Dallas Arts District.
The Orange Line would directly connect the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and Omni Dallas Hotel. Regular rail service also would connect the convention center district to the American Airlines Center at Victory Station, replacing supplemental bus service currently provided during major conferences and special events.

 
Central Dallas Streetcar Link

By mid-2015, both the Dallas Streetcar and the M-Line Trolley Urban Circulator projects (see page 2) will be open. DART is assisting the city of Dallas in the development and review of alternatives for a new streetcar alignment through downtown that would connect the two systems, and by extension, the Dallas Arts District and the Oak Cliff/Bishop Arts District.

This streetcar line through the city center will enhance transit access and capacity within downtown, extending the reach of the DART Rail System. Until the entire D2 alignment is built, expanding the modern streetcar line will serve as a second east-west rail transit connection within the CBD. Also, the location of the streetcar route will impact where the D2 line goes.





Table of Contents

Turning Vision into Reality: A letter from
   the DART Board Chairman and
   President/Executive Director

Financial and Investor Information

Facts About DART

Light Rail Expands Horizons

Reimagining Bus Transit

Transit Infrastructure Needs Federal Investment

 

Projects Will Expand Core Capacity

Preparing for Future Growth

Stimulating Economic Development

Ridership and Sales & Use Tax Receipts

DART Board Members

DART Current and Future Services to 2016

Connect with DART

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