Media Relations Contact:
June 5, 2006
June 14, 1996
DART Rail: 10 Years & Growing
It started with 11 miles of track, 14 stations, and high hopes for success.
What a difference a decade makes
DART Rail - the first modern light rail system ever built in the Southwest - has been a hit from its opening day on June 14, 1996, and continues to pick up new customers. As news of the system's success has spread over the years, transit experts and city planners from around the world have toured DART to learn how rail transit is taking hold in an area of the country long known for its love of the private automobile.
On an average weekday, DART trains now serve more than 60,000 passenger trips with stops in Dallas, Garland, Richardson and Plano.
The 45-mile DART Rail System is part of an integrated public transit network that includes nearly 700 state-of-the-art buses and paratransit vans serving 13 cities, 31 miles of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and the 34-mile Trinity Railway Express (commuter rail) linking downtown Dallas and Fort Worth.
During the 12 months ending September 30, 2005, DART Rail's popularity and a resurgent regional economy drove a ridership gain of 5.1 million to more than 98 million passenger trips system-wide.
Transforming the region as it grows
Everything's bigger in Texas, and transit-oriented development is no exception. More than $3.3 billion in private funds - nearly twice the cost of the DART Rail System - has been invested in exciting, new live-work-play destinations up and down the lines.
And the world is taking notice. Mockingbird Station, Victory Park and South Side on Lamar in Dallas, Eastside Village in Downtown Plano and Galatyn Park in Richardson have become showcase models for the latest innovations in transit-oriented development.
Meanwhile, plans are under way for more developments along forthcoming rail lines that will extend DART Rail to Farmers Branch, Irving and Carrollton. DART services also are key elements of the City of Dallas' Comprehensive Plan now under development.
DART poised to double and deliver for decades to come
This summer, construction begins on 45 miles of light rail extensions stretching northwest and southeast from the Dallas city center. By 2013, plans call for DART Rail to double in size to just over 90 miles and 62 stations.
Congress is now reviewing a $700 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with DART to help fund the $2.4-billion rail expansion project. The FFGA is expected to receive final approval by the Secretary of Transportation in early summer, allowing DART to begin construction on the southeast rail extension linking downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, South Dallas and Pleasant Grove; and the northwest extension serving the Dallas medical and market centers, Dallas Love Field Airport, Farmers Branch and Carrollton.
A branch off the northwest line will extend service to the Las Colinas Urban Center in North Irving and to DFW International Airport. In addition, the existing Blue Line will be extended from Garland to Rowlett.
Editor's Note: A high-resolution (300 dpi) copy of the anniversary logo and other DART material is available in the DART Newsroom at www.DART.org/newsphotos.
DART Rail Milestones
June 14, 1996
Grand Opening: DART's 20-mile starter system opens with 11.2 miles.
January 10, 1997
6-mile North Central (Red/Blue Line) extension
May 31, 1997 (DART completes the 20-mile starter system)
3-mile South Oak Cliff (Blue Line) extension
December 18, 2000
Cityplace Station, the Southwest's first subway station, opens. The tri-level facility reaches depths of 120 feet beneath North Central Expressway between Pearl and Mockingbird stations.
September 24, 2001
3.1-mile Northeast (Blue Line) extension
May 6, 2002
3.5-mile Northeast (Blue Line) extension
July 1, 2002
9.3-mile North Central (Red Line) extension
November 18, 2002
4.6-mile Northeast (Blue Line) extension
December 9, 2002
3.2-mile North Central (Red Line) extension
November 13, 2004
1.1-mile (Red/Blue Line) extension; the first stop on the future Northwest Corridor (Green Line), bringing DART Rail to 45 miles and 35 stations.
What they're saying about DART Rail...
Leaders from government, business and the North Texas community are joining the celebration of DART Rail's 10 years of success. Here are just a few examples.
"At every stage, DART has proven an exemplary model for efficient mass transit. A history of solid results demonstrates that DART is well worth the investment."
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
"DART's light rail presence throughout the community has paid phenomenal returns in mobility, productivity and economic growth for the region. The light rail system is an unparalleled success and has positively impacted the quality of life for North Texas residents."
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
"Full trains moving both north and south at all hours of the day are dramatic proof that DART Rail is changing the way people live, work and play in North Texas."
U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions
"The arrival of DART Rail in Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Irving will bring traffic relief and spur new development activity in these already-booming areas, just as it has done elsewhere."
U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant
"Transportation equals opportunity, and the expansion of DART into the Northwest Corridor will connect some previously isolated communities and persons with the full array of educational, employment and public service assets in our region."
State Rep. Rafael Anchía
"DART is an example for other transit agencies in Texas and nationwide on how to build a system on schedule and on budget, how to meet the needs of millions of riders, and how light rail and mass transit can be used to stimulate economic growth and development."
State Sen. Royce West
"The development of DART has been profoundly important to the growth and vitality of the region, not only in the near term but also for the future."
Civic Leader Walt Humann
"The expansion of DART Rail will expand business and job opportunities for the diverse and dynamic populations in the Northwest Corridor, including the growing Asian community."
Executive Director, Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
"DART is a dream come true, just as the Latino Cultural Center is a dream come true. DART Rail will be a terrific asset for the Southeast Corridor."
Dolores Gomez Barzune
Civic Leader, Latino Cultural Center
"Texas is in the middle of the global economy, and the greater Dallas region has many attributes attractive to domestic and foreign companies, not the least of which is our strong transportation network, including DART."
President, Chase Dallas
DART says "thanks" times 10
DART is taking time to thank its customers with 10 events - including prizes, radio station remotes and daily presentations of the DART Music Station -- the week of June 12 - 16. Details of the events are available at www.DART.org/anniversary.
Monday, June 12
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