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Summer 2007 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit






Rolling Fast. DART Rail has become a fixture in the local culture. Don't look now, but it's about to double in size - and community input is the driver.
Workers build reinforcement for concrete structures supporting a raised portion of DART Rail near the Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Station on the Green Line's northwest corridor.
Workers build reinforcement for concrete structures supporting a raised portion of DART Rail near the Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Station on the Green Line's northwest corridor.
It's hard to name a great global city without a great transit system. And, although the DART Rail System is only 11 years old, it's now hard to imagine the Dallas area without it. Transit is a big part of the future as the DFW metroplex evolves into a vibrant global city. That's why DART's moving quickly to more than double the existing 45-mile DART Rail System.

Between September 2009 and December 2010, DART's Red and Blue lines will be joined by the 20-station, 28-mile Green Line This link requires Internet access stretching from the South Dallas/Pleasant Grove neighborhood, through the Dallas city center, then northwest to Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

When fully operational, the Green Line will link thriving Stemmons-area employment centers to the South Dallas/Pleasant Grove neighborhood where residents will outnumber jobs 3 to 1 in 2025. Along the way, the line will serve Deep Ellum, Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park, Victory Park, the Dallas Market Center, the UT Southwestern Medical District and Love Field Airport.
Aerial image of Fair Park Station construction

Rendering of Fair Park Station
Construction is moving fast on Fair Park Station (top), which will open in September 2009 providing front-gate access to the State Fair of Texas and the park's museums and cultural centers (bottom).

A 14-mile branch called the Orange Line This link requires Internet access will extend from the Green Line's Bachman Station in northwest Dallas to the Las Colinas Urban Center by 2011, and to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport by 2013.

A community affair
Every aspect of the expansion project - from the rail alignments to the look and feel of the stations - has been shaped through hundreds of community meetings.

"We really went over the alignment with a fine-toothed comb," says Eugene Thomas, who took a prominent role in the process for the Pleasant Grove segment of the Green Line. "We wanted the Green Line to go right through the heart of the community. We strongly considered different alignments, and the one we'll get is the best in terms of minimizing disruption and attracting development."

Thomas and his neighbors would like to see their community's landscape transition from light industrial uses to more of a retail environment. "We're all confident that the new rail line will be a lightning rod for improving the quality of life in our neighborhood," he says.

Residents along the northwest corridor are equally passionate. The neighborhood near the future Royal Lane Station, known as the Asian Trade District, is bustling with community-minded business owners who had strong opinions when it came to art and design elements.

"The Asian community knows that the rail station will be a boon, both to business and to the vibrancy of the neighborhood," says Les Tanaka, former executive director of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce. "Since the Asian Trade District is really diverse - it's Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani and more - we decided to go with a pan-Asian theme."

ON THE LEVEL
By the time the Green Line hits the rails in late 2009, riders will notice a difference in the light rail vehicles: Each one will have a low-floor "C-car" inserted between the "A" and "B" cars customers are used to seeing.

One big advantage: C-cars offer level boarding, which allows mobility-impaired patrons, plus patrons with baby strollers and the like, to roll directly onto the train from the platform.

However, platforms at existing stations along the Blue and Red lines will have to be modified to accommodate the new vehicles - a project that will begin in the fall and take more than three years. Some, but not all, downtown Dallas stations will close for up to 30 days.

"No more than one station will be closed at a time," says DART Project Manager Bud Beene. "At busier locations such as the end-of-the-line stations, we'll provide temporary boarding platforms and keep the stations open while we modify the existing platforms."
Fittingly, the station is inclusive in its reflection of Asian heritage, featuring a prominent "Wan Ja" band - an ornamentation that traditionally symbolizes good luck throughout Asia; columns adorned with images of lotus flowers, representing prosperity and fruitfulness; and landscaping elements designed to link the station to the surrounding community with seasonal displays of color year-round. Tanaka says discussions grew "spirited" at times, but working together for a common cause helped make the community more tightly knit than ever.

To keep abreast of the latest developments as construction on the Green Line continues, visit www.DART.org/expansion This link requires Internet access.

Green Line Expansion Map



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