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December 3, 2012
Rail stations open on Blue and Orange Lines
DART Rail expansion adds new city, improves airport connections
Blue Line Sparks Development Plans
Downtown Rowlett Station marks the first expansion of the Blue Line since it reached Garland in November 2002. The 4.5-mile, $360 million segment completes the build-out of the northeast corridor and increases access to and from the largely residential community.
"Rowlett residents had the foresight and wisdom to invest in alternatives to driving around this sprawling region," said John Carter Danish, chair of the DART Board. "They knew public transit was more than an amenity, but a 'must' for preserving their city's small-town charm while also providing access to big-city resources and opportunities."
Rowlett Celebrates the Opening of the Downtown Rowlett Station
Community and civic leaders are optimistic that DART will pay off in increased visitors and commercial growth, both of which are critical to broadening the city's tax base. Downtown Rowlett Station's opening likewise has prompted zoning changes and development guidelines to attract transit-oriented, walkable mixed-use development near the rail station.
In late 2016, DART will lengthen the Blue Line south from Ledbetter Station to connect to the University of North Texas at Dallas.
Orange Line Grows; Routes Link Rail to Airports
The $1.3 billion Orange Line - the first section of which opened in July with three stations - grew nearly four miles with new stops at North Lake College and Belt Line Road, on DFW Airport property. This segment advances the Orange Line toward its eventual terminus at DFW Airport, where it will connect riders from throughout the Dallas area to one of the nation's busiest airports. DFW Station is scheduled to open in December 2014, making DART one of the few transit agencies in the U.S. with direct rail service into a major airport.
"The Orange Line connects people to a greater number of educational and employment opportunities throughout North Texas, and when it reaches DFW Airport, light rail will link the Dallas area to the entire world," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said.
DART also debuted two new bus connections on Dec. 3, making airline travel in North Texas easier than ever by meeting each train with bus service to either DFW Airport or Dallas Love Field Airport.
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