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Spring 2006 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit





Advancing the Rail-volution
ADVANCING the RAIL-volution

With its 9-year-old light rail system positioned at the forefront of the American "rail-volution," management, staff and frontline workers spent FY05 gearing up for a $2.4 billion expansion that will double DART Rail to 90 miles through 2013.

While the Phase II build-out has been in the works for years, key events in 2005 and early 2006 gave it a well-earned green light. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials earmarked $260 million as part of a proposed $700 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) between DART and the FTA. And President Bush followed up in February 2006 by including the first $80 million appropriation for the heart of the project - a 20.9-mile segment linking Farmers Branch and Pleasant Grove - in his FY07 budget request.

As U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson put it, federal support for the project "cements DART as a national transit leader. The FTA's decision brings us one step closer to improving the overall quality of life for the entire North Texas region."

Anticipating final FTA approvals, a formal FFGA signing, and groundbreaking in summer 2006, DART has selected the joint venture of Archer Western, Brunson, Carcon as construction managers/general contractors for the 10-mile southeast extension connecting the Pleasant Grove neighborhood to Pearl Station in downtown Dallas, and a 2.78-mile section of the northwest extension from Victory Station to just past the future Inwood Station near Dallas Love Field.

The future is now
Amenities mechanic Ronnie Gibbs keeps the shine on Victory Station, already a popular destination for sports and entertainment and soon the gateway to stylish shops, restaurants, hotels and residences.
Amenities mechanic Ronnie Gibbs keeps the shine on Victory Station, already a popular destination for sports and entertainment and soon the gateway to stylish shops, restaurants, hotels and residences.
Standing on the platform at Victory Station, DART Rail passengers can look northward up the tracks and imagine what it will be like gliding alongside Stemmons Freeway to Dallas' Medical Center and Market Center districts, Love Field Airport, and on to Farmers Branch and Carrollton. That glimpse into the future was made possible in early FY05 with the grand opening of Victory Station, which serves special events such as entertainment and sporting events at Dallas' exciting new American Airlines Center.

Similarly, the February 2005 grand opening of the J.B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center near Fair Park provided a preview of the adjacent Martin Luther King, Jr. Rail Station opening on the southeast extension in 2009.

Ready to roll
From Pleasant Grove to Carrollton and everywhere in between, anticipation is building.

"We're very excited about the benefits these new rail lines will bring to our region," says David Dybala, director of Dallas' Public Works and Transportation Department. "They are important to our overall transportation system, as well as to our efforts to reduce congestion and meet air quality standards."

The expansion represents a huge challenge and responsibility for Dybala's department as construction impacts Dallas streets, signage and signals, utilities and neighborhoods. But past experience has taught him to expect success. "DART has been a cooperative partner from the start, and this project will be the continuation of an excellent working relationship," he predicts.

In Carrollton, city leaders preparing the way for DART Rail got a boost in 2005 with a $2 million federal grant to help design and build the downtown Carrollton Square Station opening in 2010. Situated near the intersection of Belt Line Road and Interstate 35E, the station will accommodate DART Rail, as well as the Denton County Transit Authority's first connecting commuter trains.

The station is the focus of Carrollton's downtown revitalization efforts. "We've completely revamped our zoning code to accommodate high-density, mixed-use development — in fact, we turned our original zoning on its head," says Christopher Barton, chief planner for the City of Carrollton. "We're updating our design standards to support true transit-oriented development."

The expansion of DART Rail will bring new connectivity to major business centers, medical districts, Fair Park, entertainment and the region's two airports.

The expansion of DART Rail will bring new connectivity to major business centers, medical districts, Fair Park, entertainment and the region's two airports.


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