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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

June 12, 2000

DART Board Schedules August 12 Election on Long-Term Financing

The DART Board of Directors today scheduled an August 12 election to allow voters to decide whether the agency should use long-term financing to upgrade and accelerate future light rail lines to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, North Irving, South Dallas, Fair Park, Pleasant Grove and Rowlett.

"The input we're receiving from our member cities, citizens and our customers shows strong support for the services we're providing today and those we're planning for the future," said DART Board Chairman Jesse Oliver. "It's clear that the public wants us to do everything possible to advance the construction of our next phases, and we owe it to them to explore all of the options."

DART Rail Financing
To date, DART Rail construction has been financed in part through short-term, five-year notes and bonds backed by the one-cent local transit sales tax collected in DART's 13 member cities. Recently, however, DART's member cities and the public have asked the agency to:

  • upgrade the type of rail service planned in the Northwest Corridor (Carrollton, Farmers Branch and North Irving) and the Southeast Corridor (Fair Park and Pleasant Grove) from diesel commuter rail and single-track electric light rail to full, double-track electric light rail;

  • add more rail service than previously planned (from the Las Colinas Urban Center in North Irving to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and from downtown Garland to Rowlett), and;

  • implement these new upgraded services as quickly as possible.


    To meet the demand for more rail service faster, the agency is proposing a long-term financing strategy of issuing notes or bonds repayable in up to 30 years. Long-term financing would not raise the one-cent sales tax beyond its current level. However, it would provide DART with the cash flow it needs to enter into construction contracts earlier than planned and complete future projects an average of 4-5 years ahead of the current schedules. (See attached chart)

    In addition to accelerating future rail lines to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, North Irving, South Dallas, Fair Park, Pleasant Grove and Rowlett, DART hopes to extend rail to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport eight years sooner -- in 2010, rather than 2018. Long-term financing also would be used to continue improving bus services and to speed the construction of 110 miles of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

    Current DART Rail Construction On Schedule
    Now the largest light rail expansion project in North America, DART currently is building nearly 24 miles of extensions to its four-year-old, 20-mile light rail starter system in Dallas. The 12.5-mile extension of the North Central rail line runs north from Park Lane, arriving in Richardson in summer 2002 and in Plano in summer 2003. Following existing rail right-of-way on the east side of U.S. 75, the line includes a new aerial station replacing the temporary station at Park Lane & Greenville Ave., plus eight more stations in Dallas at Walnut Hill Lane, Forest Lane and LBJ Freeway; in Richardson at Spring Valley Road, at Arapaho Road and at Galatyn Park; and in Plano at 15th Street downtown and at the East Plano Transfer Center, Archerwood St. between Park Blvd. E. and Parker Road.

    Construction also continues on a separate, 11.2-mile rail extension stretching northeast from Mockingbird Station at Mockingbird Lane & North Central to White Rock Lake in fall 2001 and to Garland in fall 2002. The line includes four new stations, at White Rock Lake, East Northwest Highway near West Lawther Drive; at Skillman Road & LBJ Freeway; at Forest Lane & Jupiter Road; and in downtown Garland adjacent to the Garland Central Transit Center, Walnut St. at Fifth St.


    Election Order Document (PDF File 1.05MB)

    DART Capital Project Map

    DART Transit System Plan Upgrades
    Corridor FY 1995 Plan* FY 2000 Plan
    Southeast - Downtown Dallas to Pleasant Grove

    Single-Track Light Rail

    Double Track Light Rail
    Northwest - Downtown Dallas to Farmers Branch and Carrollton

    Commuter Rail

    Double Track Light Rail
    Northwest - To Las Colinas Urban Center

    Commuter Rail

    Double Track Light Rail
    Northwest - Las Colinas Urban Center to DFW Airport

    Not in Plan

    Double Track Light Rail
    Northeast - Downtown Garland to Rowlett

    Land Purchase Only

    Double Track Light Rail

    * As approved by the Board on November 14, 1995


    DART Projected Rail Opening Dates

    Corridor Long-TermFinancing* Short-TermFinancing Only

    Southeast Corridor - Downtown to Pleasant Grove

     

     

      Downtown to Fair Park
    2006 2006
      Fair Park to Buckner Blvd (Pleasant Grove Transit Center)
    2007 2008

    Northwest Corridor - Downtown to Carrollton

       
      Downtown to Medical Market Center
    2007 2009
      Medical Market Center to Northwest Highway
    2007 2010
      Northwest Highway to Valley View (Farmers Branch)
    2008 2012
      Valley View to Frankford Rd. (North Carrollton)
    2008 2013

    Northwest Corridor - Northwest Hwy to DFW Airport

       
      Northwest Highway to Las Colinas Urban Center
    2009 2015
      Las Colinas Urban Center to State Highway 161
    2009 2017
      State Highway 161 to DFW Airport
    2010 2018

    Other Line Sections

       
      Northeast - Downtown Garland to Rowlett Park and Ride
    2009 2015
      Central Business District - New Line through Downtown
    2013 2017
      South Oak Cliff - Loop 12 to LBJ Freeway (I-20)
    2013 2018

    * Assumes the issuance of long-term financing with maturities of up to 30 years.

    -- 30 --


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