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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons
Mark A. Ball

November 23, 2010

Service begins Monday, December 6

DART Rail Green Line creates new connections, completes nation's longest light rail construction project

View the DART Rail System Map effective December 6 in a new window Just over four years after the first front loader of dirt was turned, the 28-mile, 20-station, $1.8 billion Green Line will be complete on December 6, when it opens 24 miles and 15 stations creating new light rail connections for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) customers from Pleasant Grove in the southeast to Farmers Branch and Carrollton in the northwest. This is the longest single-day opening of electric light rail in the United States since 1990.

The first section of the Green Line opened September 2009 and connects Pearl Station on the east side of Downtown Dallas to MLK, Jr. Station on the west side of Fair Park.

"The Green Line changes everything for our customers," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. "Customers living in Pleasant Grove now have seamless access to jobs at Baylor, Downtown, the Market District, UT Southwestern/Parkland, Love Field and Farmers Branch and Carrollton. Business owners all along the corridor can connect with new customers and new pools of prospective employees."

Federal funds aid expansion
The Green Line was completed on time and within the $1.8 billion budget. In addition to local funding provided by the one-percent sales tax collected in DART's 13 cities, major funding for the Green Line comes from a $700-million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration. The FFGA was awarded in July 2006 at the start of construction. Construction was bolstered by the receipt of $78.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in mid-2009. They are part of DART's FFGA.

New rail connections on the way
Lake Highlands Station, DART's first infill station, is also scheduled to open on December 6. The station is located on the Blue Line at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill Lane and White Rock Trail between White Rock and LBJ/Skillman stations. This station was originally approved by the DART Board as part of the rail extension to Garland, but was deferred until warranted by new development and corresponding higher ridership. Lake Highlands Station is being incorporated into the overall site design of the adjacent Lake Highlands Town Center development. The station will include areas for bus transfers and passenger drop-off. Sidewalks, trails and streets in the Town Center are being planned to provide linkages to and from the station.

The DART Rail Orange Line will branch from the Green Line at Bachman Station to serve Irving and Las Colinas in 2012 and ultimately DFW Airport. Service also will be extended from Garland to Rowlett in 2012. DART's current expansion programs will lead to the doubling of the DART Rail System to 90 miles. Planning also continues for a Blue Line extension from Ledbetter Station to the UNT Dallas campus as well as a second light rail alignment through Downtown Dallas.

Customers of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) who have been riding an express bus to Downtown Dallas will be able to transfer to the Green Line at Trinity Mills Station. DCTA riders can purchase a Regional Day Pass for $10, which gives them access to all DCTA, DART, Trinity Railway Express and Fort Worth T services. The DCTA's A-Train is scheduled to open in summer 2011.

Station art makes each stop unique
The new stations opening on December 6 represent 15 additions to DART's growing public art collection. Each station is designed to reflect the surrounding community. While every station has a platform, canopy, overhead power lines and tracks, each station has a unique look. It's the result of months of intense work involving community volunteers, DART staff and a station artist. The art may be found in column claddings, platform pavers, windscreens, landscaping and fences like at Lawnview Station or a signature piece like the way-finder monument at North Carrollton/Frankford Station. Information about the entire DART pubic art collection along with photos of many of the pieces is available online at www.DART.org/PublicArt.

Lake June Station art
Lake June Station

New service bringing big changes for bus, rail customers
Completion of the Green Line requires numerous bus and rail changes to complement the new rail line and avoid service duplication. Details of the changes can be found in the service change brochures available on DART vehicles, inside transit centers, by visiting www.DART.org, or by calling Customer Service at 214-979-1111.

Red, Blue and Green line trains will run every 15 minutes during rush hours instead of every 10 minutes. Extra trains on the Red Line between Downtown Dallas and Parker Road, and on the Green Line between Bachman Station and Downtown Dallas, will produce a 7 1/2-minute frequency during the heaviest a.m. and p.m. ridership periods and new, through-service between Bachman and Parker Road stations. Designated as Orange Line trains, they will be extended to Irving when Orange Line operations begin in 2012.

More than half of DART's 130 routes will change. These changes include the introduction of new routes and the elimination of others. For example, most routes in Pleasant Grove, the Stemmons Corridor, Medical District, and Northwest Dallas will see significant changes. Several northeast Dallas bus routes will be modified to reflect ridership patterns, while routes along the Jefferson Boulevard corridor through Oak Cliff and Cockrell Hill will undergo a major overhaul to streamline service.

TRE changes
Fares for the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will not change. However the fare zone boundary is shifting from the Dallas/Tarrant County line to CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. The fare boundary will equalize fare options for both Dallas and Tarrant County customers and make it possible for customers from either side of the region to travel to the airport for the same fare. More information on the TRE is available at www.trinityrailwayexpress.org.

Celebrate the Green Line with a Super Saturday
To mark the Green Line opening, DART will hold special Super Saturday preview events at six of the new View more information about Super SaturdayGreen Line stations on December 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. The celebrations - at Buckner, Lawnview, Inwood/Love Field, Royal Lane, Farmers Branch and Downtown Carrollton stations - will include special themes as well as music, food, games and information booths from local businesses and organizations. The full Green Line will be open to riders during the Saturday afternoon events, and customers are encouraged to stop at all six stations.

Customers take center stage opening day
Customer appreciation activities are planned for each of the new Green Line stations between 5 and 9 a.m. on Monday, December 6. DART staff will be on hand to answer questions and help customers make their connections.

A special celebration is planned for Lake Highlands Station at 9 a.m. DART representatives will be joined by Dallas officials as well as performers from nearby Lake Highlands High School.

Later in the day, DCTA officials are scheduled to arrive at Trinity Mills Station via a special train previewing the start of their A-Train in summer 2011. Details about the service are available at www.DCTA.net.

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