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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

May 17, 2007

$8.1 billion in impact

DART Rail delivering riders, dollars

In addition to growing ridership of more than 60,000 daily passenger trips, new research shows the investment in DART Rail is paying off at a rate of almost two to one.

Listen to the DART Rail Economic Impact Briefing Audio and
view DART Rail Construction and TOD Video

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Drs. Bernard Weinstein and Terry Clower from the University of North Texas Center for Economic Development and Research project the state of Texas will enjoy more than $8.1 billion in economic activity from the North Texas region's investment of $4.86 billion to build the current 45-mile light rail network and the planned 48-mile rail expansion scheduled for completion in 2013.

"To say DART Rail's impact has been substantial for the Dallas region's economy would be an understatement," says Weinstein. "It's a trend that's impossible to miss; the local business community certainly hasn't."

View the Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Operations and Capital Expenditures Report
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While the North Texas region is receiving the bulk of the benefit in the form of economic activity and increased tax revenue, the development of DART Rail also means $3 billion in labor income to Texas. It also means more than $200 million in indirect business taxes (state and local sales and use taxes, property taxes, license and permit fees) to Texas.

"Those kind of numbers speak for themselves," says DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. "What strikes me most is how much economic activity actually exceeds the public monies it took to create the DART Rail lines in the first place. The message is clear, if ever there was any doubt: Transit pays off in a big way."

Additionally, DART's annual operating expenditures ($342 million) create an extra $500 million in statewide economic activity. That number is projected to increase to more than $650 million annually by 2014.

Green, Orange lines going strong
Moving forward, a big part of the Dallas region's economic future is riding on DART. Last fall, the agency began major construction on the new Green Line - a 20-station project that extends 27.7 miles from the Pleasant Grove section of Southeast Dallas northwest through the city center to Carrollton.

View aerial photos of Green Line Construction in a new window
Fair Park Station looking north

View a slide show of
DART Rail Green Line aerial construction photos
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The first four stations are scheduled to be in service by September 2009. When complete in 2010, the Green Line will serve several regional business, medical, and entertainment destinations including Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park, Victory Park, the Dallas Market Center, the UT Southwestern Medical District, Love Field Airport, and the cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

A 14-mile, seven-station branch known as the Orange Line will extend from the Green Line in northwest Dallas to DFW International Airport by 2013. In addition, DART's Blue Line will extend to the east in 2012, and south in 2018. And a second rail line will open in the Dallas Central Business District in 2013 to accommodate the completed 93-mile system. Altogether, the rail extensions are expected to add 60,000 weekday passenger trips, essentially doubling ridership.

A number of major, nine-figure TOD projects are planned along both lines.

As the new century unfolds, Dallas is emerging as the global city it has so long aspired to be. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced that the Dallas-Fort Worth "metroplex" has edged out Philadelphia to become the nation's fourth-largest - and second-fastest growing - metropolitan region. While the area continues to burgeon, DART Rail's success has impressed upon the entire region that rail transit can be a critical tool for economic development; in fact, non-transit cities in the area have begun a regional dialogue to find creative ways of getting transit, particularly rail.

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Note to editors: Updated rail expansion maps and photos can be downloaded in a high-resolution format at www.DART.org/newsphotos. A schedule of projected opening dates is available at www.DART.org/expansion. Additional information about DART's efforts in transit-oriented development is available at www.DART.org/EconomicDevelopment.


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