This is the kind of story I love--and I hope you will, too.
Last Friday, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) celebrated completion of its “Green Line” extension. And not only was it on-budget, but--thanks to some help from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--it opened six months ahead of schedule.
The 24-mile light rail line opened today serving 15 new stations between Carrollton-Farmers Branch and the Pleasant Grove area of South Dallas
And, as Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said at the ribbon-cutting, "While cars and pick-up trucks will always be a way of life in Dallas, there's no question that adding more transit makes life better for millions of residents."
Communities welcome projects like the Green Line for many valuable reasons.
During construction, men and women are put to work building the extension. Then, workers are needed to run the new line effectively. The transit line also makes it easier for folks to get to and from their jobs and to access the services they need. For others, public transit is a great way to get to job interviews.
The line is also great for businesses since it helps business travelers and tourists move around the city more easily. In fact, DART estimates that its light rail lines are responsible for roughly $7 billion in current, planned, and projected transit-oriented, mixed-use development.
As DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said:
"The Green Line changes everything for our customers. People living in Pleasant Grove now have seamless access to jobs at Baylor, Downtown Dallas, the Market District, UT Southwestern/Parkland, Love Field and Farmers Branch and Carrollton. Business owners all along the corridor can connect with new customers and new pools of prospective employees."
So it’s simple really: whether you benefit directly by riding DART or not, more transit means more jobs and greater economic opportunity for Dallas.
And DART has really delivered. With its on-budget and ahead-of-schedule completion of the new Green Line--and its 2,700 parking spaces, 10 park-and-ride lots, 18 new high capacity light rail vehicles, and 38 redesigned rail cars--the Green Line today enjoyed the longest single-day opening of electric light rail in the United States since 1990.
We are tremendously proud to have partnered with Dallas on this terrific project. It’s great to see such a strong local commitment to keeping public transportation growing as Dallas itself grows.