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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

July 29, 2005


DART Rail expansion receives federal support

DART is scheduled to receive an initial $260 million for its Northwest/Southeast light rail expansion following a vote by congressional conferees finalizing a five-year, $286.4 billion transportation funding bill.

"This is a clear commitment from Congress, and we're ready to get construction under way and bring DART Rail to new customers," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.

Federal funding will support the 35-mile expansion connecting the North Irving/Las Colinas Urban Center, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and South Dallas and Pleasant Grove. DART also is planning extensions to DFW International Airport and Rowlett, doubling the size of the system to 90 miles by 2013. Earlier this year, DART received an appropriation of $8.5 million for the rail project.

DART also is scheduled to receive $11.7 million in federal funds for bus service improvements including new bus shelters and benches and $2.6 million for preliminary design of the Downtown Carrollton Station. This is in addition to the $260 million for the rail project.

The earmark announced today puts DART in a strong position to continue competing for an overall total of $700 million to advance the rail expansion, Thomas said.

"Our congressional delegation has again done an excellent job of representing the interests of North Texas commuters in their support of the DART project," Thomas said. "Thanks to their support, Congress has added its own endorsement of our expansion by putting us in a strong position to keep DART on track."

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