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February 5, 2002
DART's newest facility opens Monday, February 25
Lake June Transit Center Eases Commute in Southeast Dallas
Opening February 25, DART's new Lake June Transit Center makes riding the bus better than ever for Southeast Dallas commuters.
The new $4.9-million facility, served by three major bus routes, features enclosed, climate-controlled waiting areas, vending machines and 447 free parking spaces. Located on the east side of U.S. Highway 175 at Lake June Road, it replaces the Pleasant Grove park & ride facility at Pleasant Grove Stadium, which closes its customer parking area on February 22. DART will operate bus service from the stadium through February 24 to aid the transition.
"We're very excited about opening this state-of-the-art transit facility in Pleasant Grove," said DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. "Not only does it give our current customers a better way to use transit, it's the next step in bringing light rail to Southeast Dallas and a good reason for new customers to give us a try."
DART expects the new transit center will serve 350 riders daily. The Lake June Transit Center will become a light rail station when DART's southeast line reaches Pleasant Grove in 2007.
"DART's expansion continues region-wide and this new transit center is our first opening in 2002," Thomas added. "We're committed to providing our customers with quality facilities and services, and this new transit center is another example of the projects we'll unveil this year."
Transit Center Dedication, February 23
To help customers get ready to ride, DART will host a sneak preview of the Lake June Transit Center on Saturday, February 23. The celebration features fun for the entire family. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment, food vendors, giveaways and more. DART also will offer transit safety demonstrations to children of all ages. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Improved bus service
"In 2000, we totally revamped bus service in Pleasant Grove, adding Route 475 and increasing circulation in the area by Routes 161 and 42. The opening of the Lake June Transit Center furthers our plans for improved service in Pleasant Grove, pending the arrival of light rail in 2007," said Tim Newby, DART assistant vice president of planning.
Already one of DART's busiest bus routes, Route 161 between the transit center and downtown Dallas will increase rush-hour frequency from every 10 minutes to every 5 minutes. Route 161 operates along U.S. Highway 175 to downtown Dallas with connections to the Trinity Railway Express commuter line at Union Station. It also serves DART's West Transfer Center, connecting to DART light rail and local and express bus services.
Route 42 serves Oak Cliff's Methodist Medical Center, the main U.S. Post Office, the Teagarden community and connects to more buses and the Red and Blue light rail lines at the West Transfer Center.
Route 475 provides frequent circulator service around Pleasant Grove to shopping and schools throughout the community, including major streets like Lake June Road, Buckner Boulevard, Masters Drive, Elam Road, Bruton Road, Jim Miller Road, U.S. Highway 175 and Interstate 30.
Progress for Pleasant Grove
The Lake June Transit Center is the next-to-last stop on the planned 10.2-mile Southeast Corridor light rail line, scheduled to open in 2007. Light rail will extend from Pearl Station in downtown Dallas through Deep Ellum and past Fair Park to Buckner Terrace and the Pleasant Grove area.
"We've seen the success of other new DART transit centers, so we're very optimistic that the Lake June facility will not only help our residents get to work, but trigger new economic development in the area," said Kathleen Melton, president of the Southeast Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
Art to reflect Lake June history
To give the future rail station a distinctive look, DART is acquiring a freestanding sculpture to be located at the transit center near a landscaped amphitheater-type area adjacent to Lake June Road and to the north of the bus platform. A committee of neighborhood residents and DART staff worked together to include elements in the station design, representing the nearby Great Trinity Forest, incorporating representations of the foliage area as well as the history of the site. The artistic elements will represent the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area, the first European settlers and today's diverse ethnic community.
Lake June transit history
The Lake June community, located on Lake June, six miles east of downtown Dallas, was platted in 1924 and settled mostly by farmers. Lake June was annexed by the City of Dallas in 1952. The lake -- created by a small dam on Prairie Creek near Prairie Creek Road and Rose Cliff Drive about 2.5 miles from the transit center -- is now referred to as Bruton Terrace Lake and is part of a private residential development.
Mary Krueger has lived on the lake for some 50 years, and remembers how her young sons loved fishing for perch and catfish. "They call it Bruton Terrace Lake, but the plat still shows it as Lake June Dam and Reservoir," she reports.
The old Dallas-Terrell Interurban rail line once cut through the area, linking downtown Dallas to Military Drive from 1923 until 1932, when Texas Electric Railway closed all lines. Urban Park, near the new facility, traces its origins to the old Interurban line.
Shortly after the train arrived, the first residential developments were platted, streets were laid out and the first lots sold to buyers wishing to escape the big city of Dallas, then population 200,000.
The Urbandale area grew up around the Interurban stop, which is now Urban Avenue and Military Parkway, along with a small cluster of retail buildings, most of which are still in use today.
History is repeating itself, as the neighborhoods near future DART light rail stations look to a revival of interest in the collection of period housing styles, their tree-shaded streets in local neighborhoods and the many opportunities for retail and business development.
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