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Spring 2009 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Page Title: On Track to New DestinationsClearing land, laying rail, driving spikes, hanging wire - we're creating new connections, reducing traffic and pollution, and generating economic vitality with a $3.4 billion expansion that will more than double the DART Rail System to 93 miles by the end of 2013.

Currently, the first phase of the 28-mile, $1.8-billion Green Line is racing toward an on-time and on-budget start-up with its Deep Ellum, Baylor University Medical Center, Fair Park and MLK stations set to open this September, in tandem with daily rail service to Victory Park Station. The remainder of the line stretching between Pleasant Grove and North Carrollton will open in December 2010 - connecting large population centers in the southeast with jobs, industries and services in the northwest.

"DART Rail has already had an impact on Dallas' urban landscape. We are seeing mixed-use projects taking root around the stations and that shows no sign of letting up," says Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. "The Green Line has not even opened yet and it's already sparking development in Deep Ellum and excitement in South Dallas. Riders will be able to board trains in Farmers Branch and Carrollton or Richardson and Plano and travel to Fair Park to enjoy the Cotton Bowl and the State Fair of Texas. We are excited about what is on the way."

  • 2,200 jobs on Green Line construction
  • $8.1 billion in economic activity from $4.86 billion investment in DART Rail
  • $3 billion in labor income to Texas
  • $200 million in indirect business taxes to Texas
  • $500+ million in statewide economic activity from annual operating expenditures
  • $650 million annually in taxable retail sales

  • UNT Center for Economic Development and Research
    Simultaneously, work on the 14-mile, $1.3-billion Orange Line to North Irving and DFW Airport is under way with an initial $430 million design/build contract awarded in December 2009 to Kiewit, Stacy and Witbeck, Reyes, Parsons. The use of design/build is part of a strategy to maintain the December 2011 scheduled opening for the line's first phase between the Bachman Station on the Green Line and the Las Colinas Urban Center, despite fears of delay due to rising construction costs worldwide. This is the first major transportation project in Texas to use design/build - a process that saves time and money by allowing design and construction to overlap.

    "The Orange Line will provide new and much needed transportation opportunities for the citizens of Irving and the entire Metroplex," says Irving Mayor Herbert Gears. "The light rail service to the Las Colinas Urban Center, the Belt Line area, and ultimately between terminals A & B at DFW International Airport will provide a better quality of life for many of our citizens. Many companies have located in Irving based on the implementation of light rail."

    A third expansion project - a 4.5-mile, $300-million extension of the Blue Line from Downtown Garland Station to Rowlett - also is on schedule for its December 2012 opening with the January 2009 award of an initial $188-million design/build contract to Austin Bridge & Road.

    Rowlett Mayor John Harper says the extension "is precisely the economic engine we need to foster the kind of development that will mark downtown as an attractive destination for living, working and playing in Rowlett."

    When the current expansion is complete in 2013, the DART Rail System will offer 93 miles of service connecting the region's major medical centers, airports, convention and hotel districts, and business centers - putting patients, clients, customers and employees on the fast track to their destinations.

    Stimulating the Economy
    While citizens from coast to coast await relief from the national economic stimulus package, DART's expansion activities are helping energize the North Texas economy.

    Green Line construction has created more than 2,200 jobs, and more are on the way as the Orange and Blue Line projects gain momentum. A 2007 study by Drs. Bernard Weinstein and Terry Clower of the University of North Texas Center for Economic Development and Research projects the public investment in DART's current rail system - coupled with the current $3.4 billion expansion - is generating more than $8 billion in economic activity for the state.

    "To say DART Rail's impact has been substantial for the Dallas region's economy would be an understatement," says Weinstein. "It's a trend that's impossible to miss; the local business community certainly hasn't."

    The heart of the Green Line — the 20.9 mile Minimum Operable Segment of the 28-mile line — alone will reduce nearly 350 tons of pollutant emissions per year. The region's commitment to clean air initiatives such as this is not lost on businesses and industries looking at North Texas as a potential site to locate or relocate operations and employees.

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