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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

February 14, 2003

Center will serve Fair Park, South Dallas, become rail station

DART Breaks Ground for Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center

(Left to Right) Diane Ragsdale, community leader and former Dallas City Council member; John Wiley Price, Dallas County commissioner; Carolyn Davis, community leader; Huelon A. Harrison, DART board member; Robert W. Pope, chairman, DART board of directors; Gary Thomas, DART president/executive director; Dr. Maxine Thorton-Reese, Dallas City Council member; Willie May Coleman, community leader; and Leo V. Chaney, Dallas City Council member; broke ground for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center on Friday, February 21.
(Left to Right) Diane Ragsdale,
community leader and former Dallas
City Council member; John Wiley Price,
Dallas County commissioner; Carolyn Davis,
community leader; Huelon A. Harrison,
DART board member; Robert W. Pope,
chairman, DART board of directors;
Gary Thomas, DART president/executive
director; Dr. Maxine Thorton-Reese,
Dallas City Council member;
Willie May Coleman, community leader;
and Leo V. Chaney, Dallas City Council
member; broke ground for the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center
on Friday, February 21.

High Resolution JPG

(Left to Right) John Wiley Price, Dallas County commissioner; Gary Thomas, DART president/executive director; Leo V. Chaney, Dallas City Council member; and Robert W. Pope, chairman, DART board of directors; participated in groundbreaking ceremonies on Friday, February 21, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center.
(Left to Right) John Wiley Price,
Dallas County commissioner;
Gary Thomas, DART
president/executive director;
Leo V. Chaney, Dallas City Council
member; and Robert W. Pope,
chairman, DART board of directors;
participated in groundbreaking
ceremonies on Friday, February 21, for the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center.

High Resolution JPG
DART Board members and state and local officials broke ground for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center near Fair Park on Friday, February 21. The transit center will ultimately serve as a rail station on the Southeast Corridor linking Downtown Dallas and Pleasant Grove.

State-Of-The-Art Transit Facility
The center, to open in fall 2004 near Trunk Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Grand Avenue, will make the ride from Fair Park and South Dallas better than ever with more convenient connections to bus and rail services. The $3-million facility will feature enclosed, climate-controlled waiting areas; vending machines, restrooms and more than 200 free parking spaces. Bus stops near the future transit center currently average 1,200 daily boardings.

"This transit center will be an important destination for our customers throughout the region," said DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. "For residents around the transit center, it creates access to jobs, education and all parts of DART's service area."

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Transit Center will serve as a bus transfer center for local and crosstown routes. It will also serve as a direct link to DART's growing network of transit services, including DART Rail and the Trinity Railway Express.

The transit center is a short walk from the commercial hub along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near Fair Park that includes a Social Security Administration office, a Minyard Food Store, a Walgreen drug store, a Bank of America branch, a K-Clinic medical office and other service-oriented businesses. Single- and multi-family residences are to the north and west of the center.

Transit Center Art reflects African Heritage
As with all DART transit centers and rail stations, the public is involved in the facility design through the agency's Art and Design Program. The objective of the program is to ensure the facility reflects a sense of the community's character and pride. For this transit center, the community desired that the facility reflect the African heritage of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Image of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center rendering
Rendering of the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transit Center

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High Resolution TIF
The design and application of materials to certain key surfaces will be derived from traditional African textiles. The ceramic mosaic tile column wraps for the bus shelters will be interpretations of African Kente cloths. The paving for the shelters and pedestrian walk and the ceramic tile pattern inside the enclosure will be derived from African Raffia cloth. The barrier between the pedestrian walk and the bus lane will be a six-foot-tall decorative metal fence, with four-foot-tall sections near crossings. The fence will contain large metal cutout African symbols. The fence also will hold large text tablets, which contain stories about working men and women.

The landscape design will reflect African ecosystems, including the subtropical forest, the high woodland and the savannah. The subtropical forest section will contain live oak trees with Little Gem magnolias. The fence will be lined with screening shrubs to protect accent plants such as umbrella plant, palmetto and perennial elephant ear. The evergreen groundcover beds will be interspersed with wood fern plantings under existing shade trees, giant liriope and African lilies.

Live oak shade trees, hollies for screening, evergreen groundcover and perennial sub-shrubs such as hardy blue aster and butterfly bush will represent the high woodlands. The African savannah will be represented along the pedestrian walkway and site entry drive with African love grass and other ornamental grasses. Deciduous shade trees, such as Caddo maple and honey locust, will accent the bus platform, pedestrian walkway and parking lot. Ornamental grass beds will spread out on both ends of the bus platform and will border the bus shelters to imply grass or the stick shelters of a Massai village. Plaques will identify plants at the site.

Future Plans
The transit center will become a rail station when DART extends light rail service to link downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, South Dallas and the Pleasant Grove area.

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