DART Will Open its Long-Awaited DFW Airport Train Station in August

Categories: Transportation

dfwstation.jpg
When intrepid Observerer Amy Silverstein recently took DART to DFW International Airport, she missed her hypothetical flight and narrowly avoided being devoured by coyotes. She ultimately discovered that there was a bus that took her to the terminal, but the trip was long, arduous and complicated.

That problem will be solved on August 18 when, four months ahead of schedule, DART is set to open an Orange Line station at the airport. The station is located between International Parkway and the North Service Road, near Terminal A.

The Orange Line, for those who don't frequent DART, runs along the Red Line route north of and through downtown, follows the Green Line to Bachman Station, then branches off through Irving. It currently stops at Belt Line Station, almost touching the easternmost point of DFW property.

The 4.7-mile, $150 million extension will bring the nation's longest light rail system to 90 miles. More important, it offers a cheap and straightforward way to get to the airport. The train will now take riders directly to the terminal. Finally.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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67 comments
Guest
Guest

Your intern lady missed her hypothetical flight because the route she picked was awful.

vsj052000
vsj052000

this is actually huge for the city of Irving. there will be a TOD explosion along the Orange line at the stations heading towards the airport. the convenience factor of DFW will be a huge selling point for new residential and commercial developments and the city of Irving will benefit the most from it.

IskanderAlAkbar
IskanderAlAkbar

Is there an "inside" way to get from the light rail station, to the terminal? Welcome to DFW International, please exit your air conditioned vessels, and proceed through the 105 degree heat, thunderstorms, or snow to the terminal...? I couldn't tell from the photos. 

I want a mayor the pushes for a subway system. Propose a bond package, and lobby for it's passing with the people. A modern, clean, well designed, subway is a trophy of greatness on the world scale, and will allow Dallas to gain a competitive advantage in global development.

Why is there no DART terminal connection to Love Field? Where was our mayor lobbying to convince our neighbors to the north, that a short delay in services would allow the citizens of DFW a direct connection an airport? Where is the leadership?

Decades ago, the citizens of New York realized, that to create and maintain economic supremacy, a subway system is necessary. Their men and women chiseled through rock, laying the foundations for the World Class city it is today.

We sit on top of the some of the best tunneling medium in America. Part of the reason the multi-billion dollar SuperCollider was going to be located just south of us. Our pervious tunnels in the metroplex have come in under budget and on schedule. 

I believe that if the citizens of Dallas today, accepted the responsibility and built a truly modern subway system, Dallas's social and economic systems would flourish, and Dallas finally obtain World Class status. 

I don't like having a train screaming by behind my yard, or through my neighborhood. I think a state of the art, efficient subway is necessary if Dallas wants to compete on the world stage. It's all about density, and a subway is steroids to achieve density. 

Furthermore, I believe a subway would provide the wonderful corporations that call Dallas home, an amazing opportunity to increase their presence in the market, both local and global. Numerous business perks are created. In addition to a decreased cost of transit/efficient transportation for visitors and citizens throughout our city, corporate partnership would be possible. 

Corporate sponsored subway stations could allow exclusive naming and marketing rights to a transportation hub on a system that processes hundreds of thousands of individuals each day. "The At&t, station", "the Dallas Mavericks Station", etc. Modern architecturally designed stations that allow for exclusive or  semi-exclusive showcasings of products, news, and features could be an idea to possibly offset a few costs. 

At the very least, to all the subway haters out there, can we at least agree that highway improvements should be designed in conjunction to our existing light-rail and mass transit systems? 

Why are we "redesigning" IH635 with no space for light-rail? Seems like a perfect "large scale construction" opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. A IH635 light-rail would provide the "cross town" connection desperately needed in DART.. We're already disrupting traffic, moving earth, and pouring concrete, I'd argue they should have tossed the rail in the design, and we should have demanded it. 

Dallas needs some leadership and long term planning. I want a mayor that will call out those folks over at DART, and work in tandem to develop the World Class city we deserve. 

I'm in my late 20's, this will be my generation's city soon. I want a strong mayor system that allows for leadership, accountability, and and long range development from the mayors office.  Otherwise, Dallas will never be able to compete globally. 

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

According to the DART trip planner, it would take 59 minutes for me to take the bus to my work which is a whopping 6 miles away from my home.  I can only imagine how long the trip will be to DFW for all the Plano, Richardson, N Dallas residents.

WylieH
WylieH

All of the passenger terminals at DFW are located within the City of Grapevine, Tarrant County.  DFW Airport constitutes roughly 60% of Grapevine's employment base; Grapevine collects sales taxes from all the retail sales at DFW Airport.  The DFW Orange Line station is located entirely within the City of Grapevine.


Why is Grapevine contributing a grand total of $0 to this project?  What is the City of  Dallas' pro-rata contribution, via DART?

davirez101
davirez101

$2.50 for 2 hour pass on DART. 


Will be great option for those living nearby a DART Station or for those who do not have a car.


May not be convenient for others, but at least we have another option.


This same line (Orange) also stops nearby LOVE FIELD (Inwood) where shuttle bus to/from Terminal makes 15-20 rounds.

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

Lots of time factors to consider.  How long to get from house to the LR, buy ticket, get to DFW, and finally my terminal.  It prob won't be as easy as driving and parking, but I'll give it a shot.   

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Portland has a line from the airport to downtown and it is supremely convenient and cheap.  I'm looking forward to the DART version of this wonderful amenity and the huge cost savings in getting to and from DFW.

bigjondaniel
bigjondaniel

Might want to talk a little about the interconnection between DART and DFW transport system (s)

Apocalypse_91
Apocalypse_91

Great.....now if I could get the train to get me closer than 2 miles from Love Field. Buses don't count...

REDDYFREDDY
REDDYFREDDY

@IskanderAlAkbar The Knox-Henderson station underground is already excavated but needs to be finished out.  Then DART will actually serve Central Dallas better.

timdickey
timdickey

From your mouth to God's ears, Iskander!  One day it shall come to pass.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@IskanderAlAkbar

Subways are a non-starter in Dallas for several reasons:
- Land owners are afraid that they'll lose potential future mineral rights.
- Class-conscious citizens are concerned that it'll make it too easy for lower class folks to get into and out of their communities.
- Security-obsessed citizens are afraid they'll be bombed.
- TEA Party types are afraid it will raise their taxes.
... and the list goes on and on.

The way to get Texans to be FOR something is to couch it in terms of being AGAINST something.  So, for example, if you want them to support a subway, you'd first have to make them think there's going to be a monorail  Then, when they get all up in arms against it, make it seem like a subway is really just a way of opposing monorail.

In Texas, politics is more about holding on to the past, rather than looking to the future

kduble
kduble

@IskanderAlAkbar DART consists of 13 cities. The only one that would benefit from a direct connection to Love Field would have been Dallas. The tunnel would have sucked up such a huge portion of funding that service to Irving, Farmers Branch and Carrollton would have been rolled back several more years.

The only way DART will go along with expensive projects that benefit Dallas is if Dallas comes up with the difference in funds. It's a pity, but Dallas couldn't do that.

kduble
kduble

@WylieH The Orange line doesn't serve Grapevine. DART just owns the tracks that cut through it. Grapevine gets all of the disadvantage of an easement -- plots of property cut in half, and grade crossings, but none of the benefits. How much do you think the city will ask you to contribute when it exercises its easement to dig up your yard to cut a water main across your lawn?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WylieH

That complaint has been heard over and over again in the fight to keep DART out of D/FW airport.

We do this because the people of Dallas, who pay to build and maintain DART, want to be able to use it to get back and forth to the airport.  Besides, it's not like the folks in Grapevine are going to get to ride for free.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@WylieH  If I'm not mistaken, we received $61 million in Federal Stimulus funds for this project.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@WylieH

Because Grapevine's political class is a superior to Dallas'?

kduble
kduble

@davirez101 Some of us live downtown and have monthly and annual passes subsidized by our employers. An airport train will be a free ride for us.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Use the new dart app, dont need to buy a ticket at the light rail station

markzero
markzero

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  I actually lived in Portland for a while and did this a few times. Still have memories of my first plane trip out soon after 9/11, when the Max stopped suddenly at the edge of the airport and we all watched and felt a fighter jet zoom over our heads and do a touch-and-go on the runway right outside our window. I also remember hearing about a coyote that rode to PDX around that time. If you search for "Tri Met Max coyote PDX" you'll get some pictures and conflicting information (some of the blogs say it was in late 2002 but I think it was 2001 or early 2002).

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@bigjondaniel The dirty secret behind the DFW A connection is since AA/US Air handle 85%+ plus of the traffic and AA has big desks at A for carry on plus the 50% of non AA/US Air are carryon, < 5-10% might have to take the Green buses from rail station to E or B.  If you could only afford one station, A was a good choice.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Thought ive read a carryon only can access the airport and sky link from the stop. A checked bag would have to bus (terminal link)

timdickey
timdickey

@kduble @IskanderAlAkbar  When the tunnel to Love Field idea went away, for the reasons you mentioned, kduble, DART staff and consultants told the community they'd do the "next best thing" and provide a shuttle service from the Inwood Station to the Love Field Terminal. Well, lo and behold, the $30 million set aside to fulfill that promise was "re-programmed" to pay for the trolley from downtown to Oak Cliff. This was a huge betrayal by the people we trusted, who basically LIED to us, and they've gotten away with it!  Talk about breaking the Social Contract. Why should we ever listen to any of them again?

WylieH
WylieH

@bvckvs @WylieH  I don't recall anyone every bringing up the issue, and I'm actually glad that DART is connecting to DART.  It seems reasonable that, at the very least, the sales taxes collected by the City of Grapevine at DFW Airport could be used to pay a portion of the cost of the station at DFW Airport.


The folks in Grapevine will pay fares that will be subsidized primarily by residents of the City of Dallas (and to a lesser extent by other DART members).

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

"If I'm not mistaken, we received $61 million in appropriated taxpayer funds for this project."

Corrected.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin  It's terrific.  But if you activate your ticket where no internet service is available, the 2-hour window shrinks to one hour.  Midday rate and day rate can be activated before you leave home, of course.

kduble
kduble

@ScottsMerkin That's my understanding also. That, plus the checked bag fees, will sure incentivize traveling light!


But, in all fairness, any other airport with a monorail between terminals works the same way. They're always behind security clearance.

kduble
kduble

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz The trouble with a spur is it backtracks. This adds travel time for those not bound for the airport. It makes the service less practical for other riders on the train. The only thing that really makes sense is to pass a tunnel under the terminal, but this was the most expensive option.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@timdickey  Hopefully, we can get a spur from Inwood Station to Love Field at some point in the future.

kduble
kduble

@WylieH Folks in Grapevine won't be riding. The Orange line doesn't stop in Grapevine except at the terminal of an airport Dallas and Fort Worth own.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz If you take that list and pull of the things that are not articulated as a role of national government and quit doing them, we could afford the taxes at the local level to do the things that should be local matters.

frank.rizzo
frank.rizzo

@bvckvs @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  The value of a use fee that isn't anywhere enough to cover the operating cost is psychological. If people have to pay for something they value it and vandalism goes way down. If it's free it gets torn up much more. So the bulk of the actual funding is taxes and the use fee is just enough to make people feel like they paid to ride DART so it has value. 

commiebiker
commiebiker

@WylieH  I live in Grapevine, and I doubt I'll take DART to the airport :)   I am interested in taking it downtown though, and I'll be sure to spend lots of $$$ in Dallas when I do.   Having used BART to get into the city from SFO, I have to say this is a great extension..

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@WylieH Grapevine residents getting subsidized fares to where?  You cannot get to Grapevine other than the airport via DART.  The connection is not going to improve retail sales at DFW so no incremental revenue there.  If anything, Grapevine's take from the parking garages will drop.  The sole purpose of the station is to improve connectivity to the rest of the DART network.  Grapevine ate the parking loss and said Dallas, you want it, go for it.  The Plano situation had stations in Plano, not locked down by TSA.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

Taxes are fine for most stuff. But to conservatives, such as myself, there should either be a tax or a usage fee - but not both.

Doing it this way is like paying a tax for emergency services, and then also getting billed every time you call a cop. And then, if you don't have a fist full of cash to give the cop, having him drive off without even making a report.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Taxes.  There are so many dense people around that still don't get it.  No taxes, then no roads; no firefighters; no law enforcement; no national defense; no bridges; no train tracks; no airports; no public schools; no state universities and colleges; no science and medical research; no safety net for poor children and the elderly.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WylieH @bvckvs I remember it coming up the loudest when the plans to extend DART into Plano came up.  Plano did not yet have a DART tax, and was trying to get the line extended without having to create such a tax.  The plan was shot down and a couple of years later, Plano gave in and created the tax.

I heard about it at a public meeting with Sam Johnson, my Congressman.  He was on the side of the people who wanted to keep DART out of Plano.

There was a bunch of us who thought it shouldn't be expanded based on taxes, but rather on need - and that it should be funded by riders, rather than sales taxes.

I was totally blown away because it was Republicans, of all people, who were calling for expansion of taxes.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Montemalone  Are you saying that you see all roadways as a non-depreciating asset with no associated costs?  You seem smarter than that.  Somebody has to pay the cost for roadways.  Surely you can concede that in some cases, it is better to sell the asset to avoid the ongoing costs?  Or is the government-provided, taxpayer-funded solution always the best solution?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@PlanoDave @Myrna.Minkoff-Katzdon't worry, the publicans are working to allow the Federal Interstate Highway System, built and maintained with appropriated taxpayer funds, to be privatized and tolled.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@bvckvs  I learned the hard way.  At home, I bought a 2-hour ticket, then activated it at the station, and received just a one hour window to ride.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @bvckvs

Well, you have a point there, sort of.  Internet access IS available at every platform - just not FREE access.

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