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DART – Let's Go.

DART News Release

Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

January 26, 2004

Dallas Area Rapid Transit marks "20 Years on a Roll"

More than a billion times since 1984 North Texans have boarded a DART bus or train, taken a Trinity Railway Express train or shared the ride in a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.

To thank customers for two decades of support, DART is hosting a special contest for great prizes, including a Colorado ski vacation courtesy of Durango Mountain Resort.

DART Board Chairman Huelon Harrison and DART Board Member Randall Chrisman greet TRE passengers with Krispy Kreme doughnuts
DART Board Chairman Huelon Harrison and DART Board Member Randall Chrisman greet TRE passengers with Krispy Kreme doughnuts
In addition, for 20 days starting February 2, customers will receive 20% discounts at selected restaurants and stores participating in DART's popular destination deals program. Introduced last winter, the popular program partners with merchants up and down the rail lines to offer exclusive discounts to DART customers.

Customers will enjoy celebrations taking place at DART Rail stations in February. Radio personalities and DART destination deals partners will be on hand to give away prizes. The celebration schedule is available at

Contest and destination deals details along are available at and in DART's onboard newsletter, Rider Insider.

Voters approved the establishment of the regional transit agency on August 13, 1983. On January 1, 1984, DART assumed operations of the Dallas Transit System and began work on plans for suburban bus, rail transit, HOV lanes, carpooling and mobility-impaired transit.

Today DART operates one of the nation's largest and most successful multimodal transit systems, serving 13 cities covering 700 square miles with a fleet of more than 1,000 buses, trains and paratransit vehicles, along with a 31-mile network of HOV lanes. Each weekday more than 300,000 passenger trips are made on the DART system.

DART has had a major impact on the North Texas economy, generating thousands of jobs and injecting billions of dollars in infrastructure. In addition, since the launch of DART Rail in 1996, more than $1.3 billion of private funds have been invested in mixed-use, transit-oriented development along the 44-mile system.

Highlights of DART's "20 years on a roll"

  •  August 13, 1983 - Voters create Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to develop and operate a multimodal regional transit system
  •  1984 - New nonstop express bus service begins between downtown Dallas and Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Flower Mound, Glenn Heights, Irving, Richardson, Plano and Rowlett
  •  1985 - New local bus routes open in suburban cities
  •  1986 - Lift-equipped paratransit van service expands to all DART member cities
  •  1984 - DART Board selects light rail mode for the future DART Rail System

  •  1988 - Dallas Transit System merges with DART
  •  1989 - DART Board approves a new DART Transit System Plan
  •  1990 - First transit police officers go on duty
  •  1988 - North Carrollton and South Irving bus transit centers open
  •  1989 - West Plano, Red Bird and Richardson bus transit centers open
  •  1992 - East Plano Transit Center opens
  •  1988 - DART purchases 34.5 miles of railroad right-of-way
  •  1988 - Voters reject long-term bonds for rail construction
  •  1989 - DART acquires almost 80% of the right-of-way needed for planned rail operations
  •  1990 - Light rail construction begins
  •  1991 - DART acquires 54 more miles of needed railroad right-of-way
  •  1991 - First high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane opens on I-30, east of downtown Dallas

  •  1997 - DART is named the American Public Transportation Association's Transit Agency of the Year
  •  1993 - Garland Central, Hampton, Illinois and North Irving transit centers open
  •  1996 - Downtown Dallas West Bus Transfer Center opens
  •  1997 - Downtown Dallas East Bus Transfer Center opens
  •  1993 - DART receives $82.6 million in federal funding for the South Oak Cliff light rail project
  •  1994 - Construction crews break through on two light rail tunnels under North Central Expressway
  •  1994 - RAILTRAN Interlocal Cooperative Agreement clears the way for commuter rail service linking Dallas and Fort Worth
  •  1995 - The first light rail vehicle arrives for testing
  •  1996 - The first phase of DART's 20-mile light rail transit starter system opens
  •  1996 - The first 10-mile segment of the Trinity Railway Express commuter service links Dallas and Irving with a stop at Dallas' Medical/Market Center
  •  1997 - DART extends light rail north to Park Lane with a 3.5-mile subway
  •  1997 - A 3-mile extension of the South Oak Cliff Line completes the 20-mile starter system
  •  1996 - HOV lanes open on I-35E
  •  1997 - HOV lanes open on I-635

  •  1999 - DART enters into a $333 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Federal Transit Administration - the first FFGA approved under the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21)
  •  2001 - The American Public Transportation Association names DART Board Chairman Jesse Oliver "Outstanding Transit Agency Board Member of the Year"
  •  2002 - DART System achieves 100% accessibility
  •  2004 - DART finalizes plans for a 49-mile expansion of the light rail system that will more than double the existing system and connect downtown Dallas with DFW International Airport, Irving, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Love Field to the northwest; Fair Park and Pleasant Grove to the southeast. It will also extend rail from Garland east to Rowlett and from Ledbetter Station south to I-20 in Dallas.
  •  1998 - First high-tech NOVA buses go into service, including buses powered by liquefied natural gas, and clean-burning diesel vehicles are acquired
  •  1998 - Nostalgic trolley-buses begin serving downtown Dallas and other business centers
  •  1999 - Addison Transit Center opens
  •  2000 - The Rowlett Park & Ride opens on the site of a future light rail station
  •  2000 - Cockrell Hill and Bernal/Singleton passenger transfer locations open
  •  2002 - Lake June Transit Center opens on the site of a future light rail station
  •  2002 - New bus patron facility opens at 912 Commerce Street in downtown Dallas
  •  2003 - DART breaks ground for MLK, Jr. Transit Center construction on the site of a future light rail station
  •  2000 - Voters approve $2.9 billion in long-term bonds to accelerate future light rail line construction
  •  2001 - DART and the Fort Worth T complete the 34-mile Trinity Railway Express linking Dallas, Fort Worth, the Mid-Cities and DFW International Airport
  •  2001 - Light rail expands northeast with new White Rock Station
  •  2002 - DART completes one of the largest rail expansion projects in North America with extensions to North Dallas, Garland, Richardson and Plano. The expansion brings DART Rail to 44 miles and 34 stations
  •  2002 - Construction begins on the first segment of the Northwest Light Rail Corridor extension between downtown Dallas and Victory Station at American Airlines Center
  •  2003 - DART finalizes long-range plans for its Northwest Light Rail Corridor extension to Farmers Branch, Carrollton, North Irving and DFW Airport, and its Southeast Light Rail Corridor extension to Deep Ellum, Fair Park, South Dallas and Pleasant Grove
  •  2002 - HOV lanes open on I-35E and U.S. 67 south of downtown Dallas

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