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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons
Mark A. Ball

May 26, 2009

DART, T exploring innovative approach to expanding North Texas rail

Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority want to find out if an increasingly popular method to jump start highway projects will work for transit projects in the United States.

The two transit agencies have issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking firms who would be interested in a public private partnership (PPP) to design, construct, operate, maintain and finance a cross-regional passenger rail service starting as early as 2013.

The 67.7-mile project, known as the Cotton Belt Rail Line, will operate principally on a 54-mile DART-owned rail corridor of the same name. The DART corridor extends from Wylie in Collin County, north and east of Dallas, west to Fort Worth. Some of the cities on the corridor include Plano, Richardson, Dallas Addison, Carrollton and Fort Worth as well as DFW International Airport.

The line is presently used by freight lines and both DART and The T have plans for introducing passenger rail service. DART's current long-range system plan calls for Cotton Belt service starting by approximately 2027. The T is developing plans for rail service on another corridor in southwest Fort Worth, which could be part of the PPP, and connecting to the Cotton Belt in the northern part of the city.

The Cotton Belt Rail Line would connect the current DART Light Rail Red Line and the future Light Rail Green Line. It would also connect in downtown Carrollton with the planned Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) passenger rail service between Denton and Carrollton, and the TRE line at the Intermodal Transportation Center and T&P Stations in Fort Worth.

Information about the project is available at www.DART.org/CottonBeltPPP.

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