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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons
Mark A. Ball

August 6, 2008

Connecting Communities for 25 years

DART celebrates past, builds for the future

DART 25th Anniversary Logo
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Gasoline in Dallas hovered under $1.30 a gallon in August 1983 when 101,000 North Texans went to the polls and voted to tax themselves a penny on the dollar to create a modern public transit system, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).

With gasoline prices shooting beyond $4 a gallon in 2008, about 400,000 people each weekday travel on DART's internationally recognized network of buses, trains and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

DART is marking the 25th anniversary of the August 13, 1983 election establishing the transit agency with a week long series of customer appreciation events at many of its transit centers and rail stations. DART Day at the Dallas Zoo will be a special treat on Wednesday, August 13, with two for one admission with a DART pass.

Information about the anniversary and a timeline of key dates in agency history is available online at www.DART.org/25.
Image: Former DART Board Chairs joined former and current DART Board Members at a reception celebrating the 25th anniversary of the election creating DART.
Former DART Board Chairs joined former and current DART Board Members at a reception celebrating the 25th anniversary of the election creating DART.


Image: DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas serves donuts and coffee to customers at Union Station celebrating the 25th anniversary of the election creating DART.
DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas serves donuts and coffee to customers at Union Station celebrating the 25th anniversary of the election creating DART.


DART leading regional renewal
Unheard of locally 25 years ago, Mockingbird Station, the Cedars and Victory Park are some of the exciting new transit-oriented developments that are all the rage in urban communities globally. Thanks to DART Rail, more than $7 billion in private funds have been invested in existing, planned and projected transit-oriented development along the rail corridors as people seek out new ways and new places to live, work and play.

In addition, economists from the University of North Texas determined billions in economic activity will result from the construction and operation of the DART rail program. That's in addition to the nearly $500 million in annual economic impact resulting from the transit agency's annual expenditures.

Next generation of transit under construction
While DART celebrates its past, the opening of the next generation of light rail is just over one year away when the first phase of the $1.8 billion, 28-mile Green Line rail project opens as scheduled on September 14, 2009.

The first section of the Green Line will extend from Pearl Station on the east side of downtown Dallas to Deep Ellum Station, Baylor Station, Fair Park Station (at the intersection of Parry and Exposition) and the MLK Station, adjacent to the J. B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center on the southwest side of Fair Park. Daily service to Victory Station also will begin September 2009. The remaining 25 miles of the Green Line, scheduled to open in December 2010, will extend southeast to Pleasant Grove and northwest from Victory Station to the Dallas Market Center, the Southwestern Medical District, Love Field Airport and downtown Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

Green Line construction began in summer 2006 following the award of a $700-million Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration.

DART's current expansion programs will lead to the doubling of the DART Rail System to 90 miles by 2013. Altogether, the rail extensions are expected to add 60,000 weekday passenger trips, essentially doubling ridership on the DART Rail System.

A new Orange Line will branch from the Green Line at Bachman Station to serve Irving and Las Colinas in 2011 and DFW International Airport by 2013. Light rail service will be extended from Garland to Rowlett in 2012. DART also is conducting the Downtown Dallas Transit Study, which includes a second rail line through the Dallas Central Business District with revenue service scheduled for 2014. A Blue Line extension from Ledbetter Station to UNT-Dallas is scheduled to open in 2018.

The DART bus fleet will undergo a complete transformation starting in 2010 as the agency begins taking delivery of 537 new advanced technology buses. This is the latest step in its clean fuels program, which has led to a 68% reduction in transit fleet emissions. The new buses will not only meet more stringent 2010 federal air quality guidelines, they will reduce current bus fleet NOx emissions - a precursor to ozone pollution - by at least 90%. Reducing NOx emissions is a major regional air quality objective.

Connecting Communities for 25 Years

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