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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

November 25, 2002

Openings expand rail system to 44 miles, 34 stations

DART Rail glides into Plano in time for the Holiday Season

Image of Plano Ribbon Cutting ceremony

DART Rail Arrives in Plano
at a December 5th ribbon
cutting ceremony


Image of DART Light Rail Train in Plano
DART rings in the holiday season on Monday, December 9, with new rail service to Richardson and Plano.

The opening marks the completion of the first phase of the light rail expansion, adding new stations in North Dallas, Garland, Richardson and Plano. DART also rolls out new rail feeder bus service on December 9, making it easier than ever to connect with the rail system.

"With so much growth coming to suburban cities, there's no better time to create new live-work-play environments with easy access to public transit," says Robert W. Pope, chairman of DART's board of directors. "At the same time, DART Rail is becoming an increasingly powerful economic engine, prompting new development and linking people to employment, shopping and entertainment destinations farther from home."

The rail expansion extends DART's Red Line three miles and adds three stations: Bush Turnpike Station in Richardson, Downtown Plano Station (15th St. and Ave. J) and Parker Road Station near the current East Plano Transit Center. The opening of the stations, six months ahead of schedule, brings the DART Rail System to 44 miles and 34 stations, completing one of the largest rail expansion projects in North America and doubling DART's six-year-old, 20-mile light rail system.

"We've been looking forward to DART's arrival for so long, it's wonderful to see the vision materializing," says Pat Evans, mayor of Plano.

Celebrate the new rail line Friday and Saturday
DART and the City of Plano have planned two days of holiday-themed activities to celebrate DART's arrival.

On Friday, December 6, the Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano celebration begins at 5 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony takes place at 7 p.m., and Santa arrives by train at Downtown Plano Station at 7:15 p.m. The fun continues until 10 p.m.

On Saturday, December 7, activities are planned throughout the day, beginning with Santa's 30th Annual Christmas Parade, followed by DART's Super Saturday and the Interurban Centennial Celebration.

Christmas Parade festivities begin with a pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at First Methodist Church, 19th and Avenue L, near Downtown Plano Station. The parade begins at 9 a.m. The parade route starts at 19th and Avenue M, and then proceeds west to Avenue K, south to 15th Street, east to Avenue P and then north on Avenue P ending at 18th Street.

DART's Super Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Downtown Plano Station, will feature free DART passes, music, food, prizes, local vendors and more.

Visitors to the Interurban Centennial Celebration, at the Plano Interurban Railway Museum in Haggard Park next to Downtown Plano Station, can pick up a once-in-a-lifetime collectible. The Plano Conservancy and the U.S. Postal Service will offer a special stamp cancellation celebrating Interurban rail service and the arrival of DART Rail. The Interurban linked Plano with much of North Texas until 1948. Rail and stamp enthusiasts can buy a commemorative envelope featuring an Interurban car and a DART light rail car and a folder that provides a history of the Interurban and information about DART, and receive a historic, collectible stamp cancellation.

Designs at new stations mirror the community
Image of Bush Turnpike Station
Bush Turnpike
Station
At Bush Turnpike Station, design artist Tom Orr has created a green, park-like space reflecting the location's farming history, while utilizing the column shape and scale of the freeway overpass to unite the station to the modern turnpike. Design elements include 20-foot steel and wire mesh topiary columns planted with vines lit from inside at night. Paving stones form abstract quilt patterns recalling the days of picnics at the nearby creek, and fencing and hedges woven together create an organic, natural look. Bush Turnpike Station has 778 free parking spaces. Large tracts of land adjacent to the station are earmarked for large mixed-use developments.

Image of Downtown Plano Station
Downtown Plano
Station
Downtown Plano Station serves downtown Plano, the Plano Municipal Center, Plano's courthouse, several churches, and many special events - including Plano Arts Council productions and the annual Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano. The station has no parking. At Downtown Plano Station, design artist Lyle Novinski's architectural details complement the rich variety of ornamental brickwork and vernacular brick masonry of the historic 15th Street business district. The design scheme includes patterned pavings, ornamental railings, brick and stone banding around columns and 19th-century-style gull-wing roof supports. Commissioned artist Tom Askman is creating a life-size, industrial-looking horse sculpture, reflecting the "iron horse" trains that once passed through Plano on the Interurban line.

Image of Parker Road Station
Parker Road
Station
Parker Road Station has 1,385 free parking spaces and is the northern end of DART's Red Line. The station is surrounded by a wide range of offices and businesses north and south of Parker Road, and will serve as a commuter center for surrounding communities. Design artist David Newton has integrated the new station with the existing transit center structure through the color scheme and platform pavers. Commissioned artist Susan Pascal Beran's monumentally scaled, kinetic sculpture can be seen from a great distance. Titled "Family Tree of Plano," the work features three large posts arranged in a circle with cutouts of family members moving through their daily lives, activated by wind movement and reflecting local lifestyles.

Bus Service to Richardson/Plano
On December 9, systemwide service modifications will introduce enhanced bus connections to new rail stations in Garland, Richardson and Plano. Blue Line and Red Line train schedules change with the addition of the new rail stations.

Bus and rail connections are easier than ever. Richardson bus routes serving Spring Valley Station beginning December 9 are 358, 360, 463, 551, 567, 573 and 585; Arapaho Station bus routes are 234, 360, 361, 372, 400, 562, 571, 703 and 705; Galatyn Station bus routes are 703 and 705; Bush Turnpike Station bus routes are 360, 564, 566 and 572.

New Route 564 will operate during rush hours between West Plano Transit Center and Bush Turnpike Station along West Plano Parkway. Also added is Route 760, a new Trolley Bus shuttle that operates seven days a week serving Collin Creek Mall and area shopping destinations from the Downtown Plano Station. Other modifications to existing routes will provide fast, direct service from residential areas to the new rail stations, as well as convenient connections to businesses and to Collin County Community College.

Other Plano bus routes serving Downtown Plano Station are 570 (new), 575 (new) and 761. Routes serving Parker Road Station are 234, 350, 358, 410, 451, 571 (new), and Plano DART On-Call.

Bus Service to Garland
Bus changes in Garland take advantage of two new rail stations, Forest/Jupiter and Downtown Garland, that opened November 18. The addition of Route 557 will provide limited-stop service connecting Rowlett Park & Ride to Downtown Garland Station. Route 566 is being introduced to provide new service along North Garland Avenue, including service to the new Wal-Mart, Sam's and Super Target stores at North Garland Avenue and Bush Turnpike.

Other Downtown Garland Station routes are 377, 378, 380, 381 (new), 400, 463, 486, 513 (new), 550 and 571 (formerly 371). Garland bus routes serving Forest/Jupiter Station are 372, 410 and 486.

Other Bus System Improvements
In response to ridership changes, DART has made more than 80 bus route modifications systemwide to improve route productivity and reflect ridership demands. Some of the changes include Route 316, which will extend service to the Plano Presbyterian Hospital from the West Plano Transit Center. Route 568 will be extended in the Mountain View area to serve schools and new residential, commercial and retail locations. Route 344 in Carrollton has been restructured to provide a direct connection to the Addison Transit Center, improving linkages to the transit network.

Updated bus and rail timetables dated December 9, 2002, as well as a Service Change brochure, are available on DART buses and trains and at DART transit centers, transfer locations, park and ride locations, rail stations and downtown Dallas DART stores.

For information about DART services, contact the Customer Service Center at 214-979-1111. DART route and schedule information is always available on the DART website, DART.org.

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