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Spring 2010 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit






Expanding for the Future
AMERICA'S LONGEST LIGHT RAIL PROJECT. 28 miles, 19 new stations, $1.8-billion project budget
AMERICA'S LONGEST LIGHT RAIL PROJECT
28 miles, 19 new stations
$1.8-billion project budget


Rain didn't dampen this African drummer's spirits as he entertained the first riders at DART's new MLK, Jr. Station in South Dallas.
Rain didn't dampen this African drummer's spirits as he entertained the first riders at DART's new MLK, Jr. Station in South Dallas.
Even a driving rain couldn't dampen the excitement of our Sept. 12 Super Saturday preview of Phase I Green Line service linking Victory Park, the Dallas Central Business District, the Deep Ellum arts and entertainment district, Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park and South Dallas.

Among the first to board the trains were the scouts of Webelos Pack 283, out to earn their official "Traveler" badges. They hopped on the Red Line at Parker Road Station in Plano for the 36-minute ride to downtown Dallas where they caught the Green Line to the new Fair Park Station. From there, they were off to the Museum of Nature & Science for a tour of the popular "Science of Spying" exhibit.

"We went to DART's website and printed out schedules and other helpful maps and information for the boys to review and plan the trip, the time it would take, and how we would get to the museum from the Fair Park stop," said Den Leader Kevin Margolis. "The kids enjoyed the DART trip probably as much as the spy exhibit."

Regular passenger service officially began on Monday, September 14, and ridership really took off September 25 as thousands of people from across North Texas discovered they could ride rail to the three-week run of the State Fair of Texas for the first time in almost 50 years.

Webelos Pack 283 scouts earned their 'Traveler' badges by plotting their trip to the new Fair Park Station.
Webelos Pack 283 scouts earned their "Traveler" badges by plotting their trip to the new Fair Park Station.
    DART's inaugural train arrives at Fair Park Station Sept. 25, marking the first passenger rail service to the State Fair of Texas in more than 50 years.
DART's inaugural train arrives at Fair Park Station Sept. 25, marking the first passenger rail service to the State Fair of Texas in more than 50 years.

Since then, life on the first stretch of the Green Line has settled into the comings and goings of hospital employees, South Dallas residents, and people checking out Deep Ellum's bohemian club, restaurant and arts scene. Likewise, new daily service to Victory Park just north of downtown Dallas has been a boon, not only for Stars and Mavericks fans bound for American Airlines Center, but also for people checking out some of the city's hottest bistros, bars, shops and entertainment venues.

"At a time when everybody is looking backward, we're looking forward... the Green Line is our pathway to a stronger, more vibrant city."

Tom Leppert, Dallas Mayor


Going Greener

The remaining 25 miles of the 28-mile Green Line open in December 2010, including service to Pleasant Grove in far southeast Dallas County, the Stemmons Corridor, and the cities of Carrollton and Farmers Branch to the northwest. All told, the line will serve:

Six internationally recognized medical centers
  • Baylor University Medical Center
  • Parkland Hospital
  • Children's Medical Center
  • Zale Lipshy University Hospital
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • St. Paul University Hospital


  • The Dallas Market Center — the world's largest wholesale merchandise resource

    Dallas Love Field Airport

    And six entertainment destinations:
  • Deep Ellum
  • Fair Park
  • Dallas Arts District
  • The West End
  • American Airlines Center, and
  • Victory Park


  • The Green Line will provide a vital link between employment centers along the busy Stemmons Corridor and southeast Dallas neighborhoods where residents will outnumber jobs three-to-one by 2025. And area leaders are hailing it as a new vehicle for economic prosperity and sustainable living.

    A worker puts the final touches on the awnings at Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station opening this fall on Phase II of the Green Line.
    A worker puts the final touches on the awnings at Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station opening this fall on Phase II of the Green Line.
        Further up the line, the Love Field Station takes shape.
    Further up the line, the Love Field Station takes shape.

    "At a time when everybody is looking backward, we're looking forward... the Green Line is our pathway to a stronger, more vibrant city," Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert told dignitaries attending a Sept. 13 luncheon launching the Green Line. And keynote speaker U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison termed the project and DART, "the easiest sell I've had in my entire time in the U.S. Senate ... because DART always does everything so well ... on time and on budget."

    Growing the Orange Line

    In December 2008, a $430-million design-build contract was awarded to the joint venture of Kiewit, Stacy and Witbeck, Reyes, Parsons for the first two segments of the $1.3-billion Orange Line under construction through 2013.

    Branching off the Green Line at Dallas' Bachman Station, the highly-anticipated Orange Line will serve North Irving, Las Colinas, and DFW International Airport.

    DART Rail service to the Las Colinas Urban Center is targeted for December 2011; however, officials recently announced a potential delay until mid-August 2012 due to longer-than-expected utility relocations in the area by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The relocations are associated with TxDOT's work on portions of State Highway 114 interfacing the rail line south of the abandoned Texas Stadium.

    Construction progresses on the University of Dallas Station of the Orange Line to North Irving near the abandoned Texas Stadium.
    Construction progresses on the University of Dallas Station of the Orange Line to North Irving near the abandoned Texas Stadium.
    Officials continue working to mitigate the newly anticipated delay because the timing of rail service to Las Colinas is driving some $4.5 billion in transit-oriented development plans at rail station sites.

    "Many companies have located in Irving based on the implementation of light rail," says Irving Mayor Herbert Gears.

    Extending the Blue Line

    In addition to the Green and Orange lines, work is under way on a $275-million Blue Line extension between the cities of Garland and Rowlett. A $188-million design-build contract for the 4.5-mile project was awarded in January 2009 to Austin Bridge & Road, and steel track has been delivered to the site. Scheduled to open in December 2012, the extension already has attracted major commercial development in Rowlett near the shores of picturesque Lake Ray Hubbard.

    Rowlett Mayor John Harper says the Blue Line extension "is precisely the economic engine we need to foster the kind of development that will mark our downtown as an attractive destination for living, working and playing."

    RAIL CONSTRUCTION STIMULATES THE ECONOMY

    According to the University of North Texas, DART's expansion activities through 2013 will generate:
    $5.6 billion in economic activity
    $360 million in contract awards to minority- and woman-owned businesses
    6,400 expansion-related jobs annually
    5,300 operations-related jobs annually

    DART RAIL EXPANSION IS TOPS
    The DART Rail System is the seventh largest of its kind in the U.S.
    DART Rail expansion accounts for approximately one-quarter of all light rail construction currently underway in the U.S.
    The 28-mile Green Line is the longest light rail project under construction in the U.S.
    The DART Rail System will rank as America's second largest light rail system with completion of the Green Line in 2010 - and possibly the largest when the 45-mile buildout is completed in December 2013.
    Seconding Service in Downtown Dallas

    The expansion of the DART Rail System will increase train traffic in the Dallas CBD, prompting the need for a second downtown rail alignment. A project dubbed "D2" has identified several alternative routes, including one serving Dallas City Hall and the forthcoming Omni convention center hotel site.

    Paying Big Returns

    The fast-moving $3.4-billion DART Rail expansion is hitting its stride at precisely the right time to help the region navigate the national recession.

    In fact, a 2009 University of North Texas (UNT) study estimated rail development activities through 2013 will generate more than $5.6 billion in economic activity.

    According to the study by the UNT Center for Economic Development and Research, the Green Line alone already is generating an average of 6,400 jobs annually. Separately, transit operations are generating approximately $663 million in annual economic activity, funding more than 5,300 jobs a year.

    Jim Andoga, president of Austin Bridge & Road, Inc., said his company won the initial construction contract for the Blue Line extension to Rowlett just as the region's heavy construction contractors were seeing the cancellation of projects in both the private and public sectors. "This contract has allowed our organization to avoid layoffs, as well as create new jobs," Andoga said, noting that he has committed $80 million in DART-related subcontracts to minority- and women-owned businesses. "That's real economic stimulus for our region," he remarked.


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