DART Inmotion
the offical newsletter of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT - Spring 2008
Return to www.DART.org

Building a Rail Life
A letter from the DART Chairman of the Board.

Keeping Watch 24 / Seven
Deployed in cars, on motorcycles and bicycles, and on foot, DART Police promote safety and security in one of the largest and busiest "communities" in North Texas.

Moving People While Moving Ahead
As DART's Green Line expansion races ahead, a big part of the project is keeping neighborhoods and businesses up to speed on construction activities.

Staying On Track
With construction costs soaring worldwide, DART is exploring new design and financing strategies to open the next phase of DART Rail on time.

Redefining Community
Carrollton and Farmers Branch are using the arrival of DARTís Green Line to remake their city centers into lively transit villages and regional destinations.

Hassle-free Driving Ahead
With the doubling of high occupancy vehicle lanes, DART is speeding traffic and pollution relief to North Texas commuters.

Short Trips
Mobile website puts trip plans in your hands; new 7-Day Pass lets you roll when you want to; Million Milers go the distance; DalTrans keeps traffic moving; bus racks expand bike & ride trips; DART employees extend customer service.

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Staying on Track
ORANGE means ENERGY!

Like the vibrant color of the sun, DART's Orange Line will bring new energy, vitality and change to the region with links to important business centers, medical facilities, higher education, exciting new transit villages and the worldís third-busiest airport.

Water Street will draw residents and visitors alike to Las Colinas in Irving.
Water Street will draw residents and visitors alike to Las Colinas in Irving.
Branching off the new Green Line at Bachman Station, the Orange Line is set to open in stages beginning in 2011, with the last opening in 2013. Stops will include the University of Dallas, Lake Carolyn in the Las Colinas Urban Center, North Las Colinas, Carpenter Ranch, North Lake College, Belt Line Road and DFW International Airport. Two additional stations - deferred pending the development of transit-oriented, mixed use facilities - will serve Loop 12 (near the current Texas Stadium site) and South Las Colinas.

Operationally, the Orange Line and Green Line will share the same tracks from Dallas' Central Business District, all the way to Bachman Station where they split and the Orange Line heads northwest into North Irving. This line will allow commuters to hop a train in downtown Dallas and ultimately ride all the way to DFW Airport.

Keeping on track
The Orange Line and a Blue Line extension scheduled to serve Rowlett in 2012 are being carefully reviewed due to higher-than-anticipated construction costs identified at the 10% design phase - an early point in the development of rail projects. The cost differential is being attributed in part to a worldwide shortage of construction materials and services.

"This is not related to DART or Dallas or North Texas. This is an international event, and it impacts many of the materials we use including concrete, steel and copper," says DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas.

Earlier this year, DART officials laid out alternatives to address the additional $764 million estimated for the two projects. The plan was to reduce the costs of the two projects through engineering changes and funding the remaining costs through a combination of additional cash and issuance of more than $300 million in additional debt. In a move to further reduce costs of future rail expansion projects, officials also are exploring the use of public-private partnerships to build, operate and maintain parts of future rail lines.

"(Rising costs) are not related to DART or Dallas or North Texas. This is an international event, and it impacts many of the materials we use including concrete, steel and copper."
Gary Thomas, DART
President/Executive Director

"Fortunately, our process allows us to anticipate significant challenges very early," says Thomas. "This affords us an opportunity to examine the projects from multiple perspectives and mitigate thoughtfully. However, because of the increased demand for rail transit in our region, we are reviewing process improvements to more accurately reflect estimated costs even earlier in the planning and development stages."

Throughout the review, business and civic leaders in both Irving and Rowlett stressed the importance of maintaining construction schedules for the Orange and Blue Line projects, especially in light of impressive plans for transit-oriented developments.

"We are advocates for DART. We are advocates for public transit. We've invested a lot of ourselves and our energy, in addition to our money...," Irving Mayor Herbert Gears told DART Board members during a Jan. 8 meeting. "We'll maintain the integrity of this partnership (with DART) so we can have it arrive on time and intact. We're open to solutions that make a difference and make it work for our community."

Irving officials said plans for live-work-play, mixed-use projects surrounding DART Orange Line rail stations now top $4 billion in private investment.

"We've gone out to the world promoting this transit-oriented development (TOD) idea. Our Las Colinas project will be the largest TOD in the United States. High-density residential wasn't originally planned for the Urban Center, but we added it due to DART," Gears said.

Rowlett Mayor John Harper echoed his community's commitment to DART - and his city's desire for a timely completion. "The city has counted on DART for economic development. We all want cleaner air; we all want less traffic congestion. Keep the scope as promised," he said.

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Ready for Rail

State legislators and DART Board members attend a briefing on the City of Irving's plans for transit-oriented development at DARTís Orange Line rail stations.
State legislators and DART Board members attend a briefing on the City of Irving's plans for transit-oriented development at DARTís Orange Line rail stations.
Las Colinas - already an international model for master-planned, mixed-use development - will boast exciting new destinations when DART's Orange Line arrives in 2011. The City of Irving and private developers have planned more than $4 billion in transit-oriented development.

Entertainment will be the focus at Las Colinas Live, a $400 million, 40-acre project with a major performance venue, boutique hotel, club, residential housing, spa, cinema, restaurants and retail.

Water Street, a $300 million, 13-acre mixed-use project on the shores of Lake Carolyn, will have 300,000 square feet of retail, more than 1,000 residential units, a 110-room hotel and 20,000 square feet of office space.

Both projects will feature colorful, pedestrian-friendly promenades and streetscapes with easy access to the Las Colinas Area Personal Transit System and DART Rail.

Irving is also working with private development partners on a 400-acre, $2 billion Crossroads DFW project for the Texas Stadium site when the Dallas Cowboys depart after the 2008 season.



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