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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons
Mark A. Ball

June 29, 2009

New bus location opens July 13

DART dedicates Rosa Parks Plaza

DART Chairman Randall Chrisman and US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson unveil a bronze statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
DART Chairman Randall Chrisman and US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson unveil a bronze statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
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 US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson takes a seat next to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. The statue is the centerpiece of a new bus passenger facility in Downtown Dallas.
US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson takes a seat next to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. The statue is the centerpiece of a new bus passenger facility in Downtown Dallas.
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Guests look on as water wall sculpture is turned on for the first time at the dedication of the Rosa Parks Plaza.
Guests look on as water wall sculpture is turned on for the first time at the dedication of the Rosa Parks Plaza.
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Customers on four of Dallas Area Rapid Transit's (DART) busier routes will be boarding their buses in a different location starting Monday, July 13, and making history in the process as the first patrons of the new Rosa Parks Plaza.

The new bus facility was dedicated during a June 29 ceremony that included U. S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who helped secure federal funds for the project, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and DART representatives. In addition to $600,000 in federal funds secured for the project by Rep. Johnson, DART, the City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department, DOWNTOWN DALLAS, and Dallas Main, LP (landlord of Bank of America Plaza) each provided funds to transform a parking lot into the plaza.

Routes 29, 49, 52 and 59 will relocate from the nearby DART West Transfer Center to the brand new facility on Lamar St. at Pacific. Schedules will remain unchanged. Rosa Parks Plaza will be the new primary northbound stop for the four routes that will continue on Lamar and will no longer enter the West Transfer Center. Southbound buses on these four routes will serve the bus stop across Lamar at Pacific and will not enter the West Transfer Center or Rosa Parks Plaza.

Plaza will be unique
The plaza offers a park-like setting featuring a 13-foot-high wall of water cascading over the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a drinking fountain and green spaces flanked by two bus bays and spacious passenger shelters. The focal point is a life-size bronze statue of Parks sitting on a bus bench that will welcome more than 1,400 daily bus customers.

Initially planned as the Elm/Lamar Patron Plaza, the $1.7 million plaza is named for the civil rights pioneer who helped lead the battle to integrate public transportation. It incorporates four special-design passenger shelters, two bus bays to relieve DART's West Transfer Center, and a pedestrian way to link 65,000 jobs -- located within a half mile south and east of the site -- with the West Transfer Center and the West End Station.

Art designed to reflect Parks' strength
Rosa Parks Statue
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A life-size bronze statue of Rosa Parks sitting on a bus bench will be a focal point of the plaza. San Francisco sculptor Erik Blome created the statue for DART. The statue is designed to "invoke a feeling of determination and a presence that has a solidity to it and a beauty that transcends time," he said. "The seat is filled in underneath to create a sense of solidity and carved rock-like power emanating from her small act of defiance and faith. Her happiness showing in the knowledge that she is doing right."

Plaza latest example of federal support for DART
The federal contribution was part of a $10 million funding earmark to support enhanced DART bus passenger facilities. The funds will be used to add shelters and improve the system's most heavily used bus stops with benches, sidewalk improvements and curb cuts for better accessibility. DART has received an additional $3 million in federal funds for bus facilities.

Additional information about Rosa Parks Plaza and the new boarding locations is available at www.DART.org.

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