DART Prez: Orange Line to DFW's Terminal A Will "Complete That Big-City System"

Categories: Transportation
beltlinestationrenderingdart.jpg
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
A rendering of the Belt Line Station on the Orange Line, the last stop before Dallas-Fort Worth Airport's Terminal A come 2014
Last night Dallas Area Rapid Transit sent word that its board of directors signed off on the design-build contract that'll push the under-construction Orange Line the final 5.2 miles that'll get it to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport's Terminal A. Long story short: You'll be able to light-rail it from DART to DFW beginning, fingers crossed, December 15, 2014. At a cost of $149,750,000 -- though, as DART notes in its release on the other side, it is going after $130 million in federal TIGER III grant money, applications for which were due on Halloween, so for now it's very wait-n-see.

Some of the Orange Line's due to open next year, of course: Bachman Station to the Las Colinas Convention Center bows July 30, with the section that continues on to the Belt Line Station set for a December 3 roll-out. But it's the final leg to the airport, where DFW's building the Terminal A stop, that has DART President Gary Thomas the mostest excited, as you'll see in one of two videos that follows. Says he, the DFW station "completes that big-city system we've been working so hard on for the last several years." He forgot to mention "world-class."




DART takes next steps to direct DFW Airport connection

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is making the final push to DFW Airport with the award of a design-build contract to construct a 5.2-mile extension of the Orange Line from the future Belt Line Station to the airport's Terminal A. A joint venture of Kiewit, Stacy and Witbeck, Reyes, Parsons (KSWRP) was selected by the DART Board of Directors to complete the $149,750,000 project known as Irving-3 (I-3).

Construction should begin in early 2012 and the I-3 section is scheduled to open on December 15, 2014. DFW Airport is building the Terminal A station. The first two sections of the Orange Line -- Bachman Station to Las Colinas Convention Center and then on to Belt Line Station at SH 161 and Belt Line on DFW Airport property -- will open July 30, 2012 and December 3, 2012, respectively. Those two sections are also being built by the KSWRP joint venture.

The project will be funded locally, however because of its multi-modal nature (airport service, light rail and buses), DART is pursuing $130 million in federal funds under the TIGER III program which are aimed at multi-modal transportation projects. Receiving the federal funds could free up local dollars for other agency projects.

"So many people and agencies worked to bring I-3 forward," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. "We have benefitted from the great support of the City of Irving and the tremendous cooperation of DFW Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transportation Administration. We are ready to get to work."

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40 comments
Justin C
Justin C

I hate how they show I-35E as I-35 on their little video. I cant watch it now.

dallasmay
dallasmay

The think I wonder about is how Dart Riders will get to the other terminals. DFW has a tram, but it's on the other side of security, so you have to have already checked in at your terminal to use it.  What would be really nice is if DFW would make Terminal A the "Master Check In" location, so to speak, and allow everyone flying out of DFW to check in there. Then you could take the Tram to whatever terminal you needed. Though I don't know how or if this would work for international fliers who have the added security -which makes me unsure how the tram connects to Terminal E right now...

fred
fred

The next grant for which they should apply should be for finishing out the Knox-Henderson subway station.

swag
swag

It seems problematic that it's only going to Terminal A.  Arriving out-of-towners who exit security to claim luggage will have to ride those clumsy Terminal Link buses to even get to the train station. Crossing the road might be hard, but they're building 5.2 miles of new rail, why not another few thousand feet to add stations at Terminals C & E also?

cp
cp

So glad than in a few years Dallas finally be caught up with other "big cities" such as Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Baltimore, Newark,, Atlanta, Boston, Burbank, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, and St Louis. All of which are half the size of Dallas and with smaller metros. Go "big city" Dallas!

Ed D.
Ed D.

I'd be happier about that Irving Convention Center station if they'd put it a lot closer to the Irving Convention Center. Atlanta, Chicago, and other cities with rail seem to grasp the idea that the station should be at the destination, not a third of a mile away. (Extra fun for folks with mobility issues.)

Guest
Guest

I'm waited with baited breath!  Though after the screwed up connection at Love Field, I can't say i'm overly optimistic...

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It'd certainly be an improvement, but I'm not going to declare it a success until the Cotton Belt Line is completed.

The current hub and spoke design doesn't really work for a very large majority of DART member city residents.

John_McKee
John_McKee

Any idea of what kind of transit time we are looking at from downtown to DFW or Las Colinas? I work not to far from the future Las Colinas station and live on the MTA and am kind of toying with the idea of starting to take the rail when it opens because I really, really hate driving. I looked at taking the bus once and it would turn my <20 minute commute into something like an hour and a half.

Only wimps censor
Only wimps censor

can he do something about all the violent black thugs on DART?

Just askin
Just askin

can he do something about all the violent black thugs on the train?

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Maybe not "world-class" but a city where it's a hell of a lot more affordable than parking at or taking a cab to the airport.

Pub Crawler
Pub Crawler

The Knox Henderson location will really do well, with all the pedestrian shopping, restaurants and bars.  If Dart is looking to move the ridership needle, here's your chance.

JJ
JJ

Just about to post the exact same comment!

Cowbell_Rockstar
Cowbell_Rockstar

dart is a huge failure. most stations are deserted, ghost towns!

dallasites love their cars too much, we will never be seattle, portland, san fran etc. etc.

dom
dom

To be fair, the 386 square miles of Dallas vastly overlooks the 89 of Boston or the 59 of Minneapolis

confussed
confussed

yea it's pretty ridiculous. though i dont plan on being at many conventions at the Irving Convention Center, arent many convention-goes usually toting things; briefcases, computers, work, swag, cameras, portfolio type things with them?

dallasmay
dallasmay

The original plan called for a People Mover to connect the Inwood Station and Love Field. It got cut for money reasons. A simple bus made far more financial sense.

That said, I do agree with you. 

db
db

You are correct - it is unbelievable that anyone could have created such a substandard Love Field Connection.

Rangers100
Rangers100

That's their own fault. Live downtown and DART is very convenient.  Time to get out of the sprawl.

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Okay, I know that there was a slideshow that DART Posted about thoses times. The time it will take from Parker RD to DFW would be about a 1 and a Half. So from the West End to DFW, it will be 50 mins.8 min. to Belt line and 16 min. to Irving CC from DFW. 

The Proposed Changes for Next Year are up, and now the Orange Line will run from the Irving Convention Center in July and Belt Line in December and will stop at LBJ/Central. It will only run to Parker RD during Rush Hour. There will be buses that will run from Belt Line to DFW, and a new Crosstown Route that will run from Downtown Garland to Royal Lane, and the 39 will break off and just run to Inwood/Love Field Station. There will be a different route running from the station to Love Field. Starting on page 24, the list of changes are there http://www.dart.org/about/boar... 

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

I entertained (briefly) the idea of using DART for my commute from Downtown to Plano, it would have been 3 hours. Eff that.

dallasmay
dallasmay

It's all about choices. You can drive and park, or find someone to give you a ride, or take a cab, OR take the train. The more options the better.

jl
jl

there's already a shell of a station underground...

... but the cost is too high. the price that the neighborhood has to pay for being stupidly short sighted when protesting the original station.

Rangers100
Rangers100

That's because most DFW residents don't really want to live in a true city, and all the "inconveniences" that come with that.  They'd rather sprawl out into far-flung burbs and pretend they live in a city.

dom
dom

Making it easier to cover those areas compared to ours is much easier. And the fact we are several decades behind is also a hindrance

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Oh we're from Bid D my oh yes, You can tell we are from our Mass Transit Mess

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Genius plan, that. Serve the sector of the city with decades of problems drawing residents well rather than the places they actually do live.

DART light rail has already proven the lines don't attract residents to move within easy walking distance after the fact. Good thing we know the trains are filled with more shady characters than smug jerks.

dallasmay
dallasmay

Where do you live in Plano that it takes you 3 hours from Plano to Downtown when riding DART? I've checked Google Maps and Even the furthest flung reaches of plano can be in Downtown in less than an hour and a half. 

Still a long commute, but you are seriously exaggerating. And still, in morning and evening rush hour it would still take you an hour to even drive. (By the way, I did choose the absolute most difficult area of plano I could.)

Rangers100
Rangers100

Using DART buses?

I live downtown and use the DART bus to go to and from work near the Galleria.  20-30 minutes each way.  Very convenient.  Nice to sit and read on the bus instead of driving.  

The Galleria isn't Plano, but the difference shouldn't be 2.5 hours.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Do you get a big chuckle out of that as you drive along Dallas's potholed streets to wait an hour for a table at P.F. Chang's at Northpark?

guest
guest

Do the both of you smell each others turds and comment how fresh and rosy they are? and not those "chain" turds like they've got out in the 'burbs!

dallasmay
dallasmay

The only part of the city they want to have is the chain restaurants. 

Ed D.
Ed D.

The Dallas Comic Con has moved to the Irving Convention Center and, yes, there is swag to be had. The May 2012 event with Stan Lee is before the line opens but the Star Trek Fan Days in October should be fun, too.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I think you're just an ass. Since you know nothing about any of my variables: my car payment, my insurance, my route, my housing costs...

Plus learn to recognize a joke. What's not a joke is a hub and spoke design for a gigantic section of our metro area with multiple large pockets of offices that aren't downtown. They've got to throw some lateral connecting lines into the system at some point before they can lean back in their chairs, put their feet on their desks, and proclaim mass transit victory.

guest
guest

Nah, you're just a smug jerk, who thinks they've got better financial sense. Two totally different things, but I can see where you got confused...it's hard to tell the difference when you've got your head so far up yer bumm!

dallasmay
dallasmay

It worked for me. My wife and I take take DART all the time and were able to go down to one car. Saves us about $700 on insurance and a couple of thousand dollars every year on gas, not to mention wear and tear and *gasp* a F***ing car payment. Shoot we pay our mortgage with the money we save by using DART. 

But, hey, I have to live near these other "shady characters" in the M-Streets. 

(Maybe I'm just smug. Or maybe I actually have better financial sense that you.)

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