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DART – Let's Go.

DART News Release

Media Contact:
Morgan Lyons

February 22, 1999

DART pumping $3.7 billion into North Texas economy over next 5 years

DART is providing a hefty boost to the North Texas and state economies, with a total regional impact estimated at $3.7 billion and more than 32,000 jobs through 2003, according to a new study.

Prepared by the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas, the study looks at three separate DART economic engines: the current $1 billion light rail expansion, other capital projects, and ongoing DART operations.

For each category, economists calculated the number of jobs and the number of dollars DART brings to the regional and state economies.

Light rail expansion delivers big dividends

Current budget projections call for just under $1 billion to be spent on the completion of the light rail system extensions to Garland, Richardson and Plano. Work on the extension from Mockingbird Station to Plano began late last year and will be completed in fall 2002. Construction of the North Central extension from Park Lane Station to Richardson and Plano begins later this winter. The line to Richardson will open in summer 2002 and the extension from Richardson to Plano will open in summer 2003.

"Over the course of the build-out, these expenditures will generate $2.3 billion in regional economic activity and will support over 27,500 jobs with total earnings approaching $710 million," the report noted. "Statewide economic impacts of these expenditures will surpass $2.5 billion, producing $754 million in earnings and about 29,400 jobs."

DART capital projects bring growth

DART also is investing an estimated $111.7 million for other system expansions (excluding the light rail projects), facilities construction and repair, non-vehicle equipment and computer software and hardware through 2003, the study noted.

"These expenditures will generate $246 million in North Texas economic activity," the report said. "This activity will support an average of 563 jobs paying $73 million in earnings. Statewide, these capital outlays will result in $265 million in new economic activity during the capital budget period and will support an average of 600 new jobs."

Daily DART operations important

DART also spends more than $128 million for goods and services each year. "Impressively, 87.5 percent of these expenditures are estimated by DART to be made in the regional economy," the study noted, resulting in more than 4,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in economic activity for the five-year period.

"Due in large part to its high percentage of local purchases, ongoing operations at DART generate more than $230 million in regional economic activity each year," the study said. "Statewide, this segment of DART activities will support some 4,226 jobs and create economic activity valued at $1.3 billion through 2003."

The economic impact assessment was conducted by Dr. Bernard L. Weinstein and Dr. Terry L. Clower, directors of the center. The study utilizes income and employment multipliers from the Input/Output Model designed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Dr. Weinstein emphasized that the analysis is a conservative assessment of DART's economic impact.

"By any measure, DART is a key economic engine for the North Texas region, generating jobs and economic activity just in the amount of money it spends on building new facilities and operating activities. If we factored in the benefits DART brings by providing inexpensive transportation to work and improved traffic and air quality, the number would be even higher," Weinstein said.

Click here to view an Adobe PDF version of the study, The Initial Economic Impacts of the DART LRT System. (The file can be viewed and printed using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader. The free Acrobat Reader may be obtained at the following Internet location:

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DART Economic Impact Through 2003

            Regional State
Light Rail Build-out
      Jobs* 27,558 29,400
      Wages & Salaries $710 million $754 million
      Total 5-year economic activity $2.3 billion $2.5 billion
Other DART Capital Expenditures
      Jobs* 563 600
      Wages & salaries $73 million $79 million
      Total 5-year economic activity $246 million $265 million
Ongoing DART Operations
      Jobs* 4,088 4,226
      Wages & salaries $1 billion $1.1 billion
      Total 5-year economic activity $1.2 billion $1.3 billion
Total Impacts: 1999-2003
      Jobs* 32,209 34,226
      Wages & salaries $1.8 billion $1.9 billion
      Total economic activity $3.7 billion $4 billion

* direct & indirect

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