APTA | Passenger Transport
December 20, 2010

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Read the classifieds in this issue to learn about 7 bids & proposals and 7 transit job opportunities!


DART Launches New Green Line Service; 28-Mile Light Rail Corridor Is Longest in U.S. Since 1990

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) celebrated the completion of its 28-mile, 20-station, $1.8 billion light rail Green Line on Dec. 6—on schedule and under budget just over four years after ground breaking. According to DART, this is the longest single-day line opening of electric light rail in the United States since 1990.

The 24-mile segment of the line, containing 15 stations, creates new light rail connections for DART customers from southeast Dallas to the cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton in the northwest. It joins a section that opened in Sept. 2009, which connected 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,” said DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. “Customers living in Pleasant Grove now have seamless access to jobs at Baylor [University Medical Center], downtown Dallas, 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
Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), joined other federal officials for the special grand opening celebration. “DART continues to demonstrate visionary leadership for transit,” Rogoff said. “The opening of the Green Line will be a true game-changer in Dallas, connecting people and places like never before.”

In addition to local funding provided by the 1 percent sales tax collected in DART’s 13 cities, the Green Line received $700 million through an FTA Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) awarded in July 2006 at the start of construction. DART also received $78.4 million in FFGA funds in mid-2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“With the completion of the Green Line, DART is continuing its reputation as a model of excellence in the transportation community,” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) added: “I’m very proud of your [DART’s] many accomplishments. I look forward to everyone in the area getting an opportunity to enjoy the mobility the Green Line provides.”

New Rail Connections En Route
Also on Dec. 6, DART opened its first infill station: Lake Highlands, located on the Blue Line in northeast Dallas between the White Rock and LBJ/Skillman stations. The agency’s board had originally approved this station as part of the rail extension to Garland, but deferred construction until new development and corresponding higher ridership made it necessary.

The new station is being incorporated into the overall site design of the adjacent Lake Highlands Town Center development, providing areas for bus transfers and passenger drop-off. Sidewalks, trails, and streets in the town center are planned to provide linkages to and from the station.

DART has further extension plans for the Orange and Blue light rail lines. The Orange Line will branch from the Green Line at Bachman Station to serve Irving and Las Colinas in 2012 and, ultimately, DFW Airport. Blue Line service also will extend from Garland to Rowlett in 2012. DART’s current expansion programs will grow DART’s rail system to 90 miles.

Planning also continues for a Blue Line extension from Ledbetter Station to the Dallas campus of the University of North Texas, as well as a second light rail alignment through downtown Dallas.

Customers of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) in Lewisville, TX, who have been riding express buses to downtown Dallas, now will be able to transfer to the Green Line at Trinity Mills Station. The DCTA is scheduled to introduce its A-Train service in summer 2011.

A Unique Look at Each Station
The new Green Line stations represent 15 additions to DART’s growing public art collection. The design of each station reflects the surrounding community: while every station has a platform, canopy, overhead power lines, and tracks, each has a unique look. The design process is a 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—as at Lawnview Station—or a signature piece like the way-finder monument at North Carrollton/Frankford Station. DART provides information about its entire art collection, along with photos of many of the pieces, on its web site.



FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, second from right, rides a special Green Line train to the Dec. 6 grand opening celebration, joining, foreground from left, DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas; DART Board Chairman William Velasco; and past DART Board Chairman Randall Chrisman.

Opening-day crowds board DART’s Green Line at the North Carrollton/Frankford Station.


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