DART Zips to DFW Airport Just in Time To Attract Other, Better National Conventions

Categories: Transportation

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DART
The DART orange line will be stretching to DFW airport, with services beginning August 18.

OK, so we're a day too late on this latest effort to bolster local tourism. DART announced today that the highly anticipated DFW station would be opening four months ahead of schedule.

With an originally scheduled opening in December, the date has been pushed up to August 18. Oh, and construction costs have come in under budget. We'll pause here for you to recover from your shock.

The opening of a DART DFW station makes the airport the third largest in the country with a city connecting railway. From the downtown it will take about 40 minutes to get to the airport, via the orange line which will go to Terminal A. From Terminal A you can access the other terminals via the Skylink rail.

"It's so intuitive when you travel to, say London or Rome, that you can take the train," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said. "Travelers in other parts of the world are used to getting around in that fashion. So for them to fly to DFW and go directly to a train that will take them downtown, that's significant."

Connecting the airport to the city's rail line will help make Dallas more accessible to visitors who rely on public transportation. Both DART and the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau are now eagerly anticipating a boom in conventions in the years to come.

The line will also benefit DFW employees, around 60,000 of whom commute to the airport, although DART officials expect around 1,000 people to access the airport line every day. Official test runs to the airport begin today.

"What we've seen in other airports, particularly around Europe, is the ability for people to get access to good jobs at the airport, and it opens the labor market for employers. The most significant impact will be on the labor market," says Lyons.

So even if the construction process was maybe, possibly hastened a bit to attract certain high profile national conventions, the DFW station's premature opening is just a happy side effect, and can only benefit local job seekers. The orange line also passes by Love Field, where workers and travelers through that airport may already take the train to downtown.

"We're excited," said Lyons. "This has been part of the vision since the inception of DART. Being able to provide this rail connection really helps set DFW -- the airport and the region -- apart from some of its competitors in providing that level of service. And so we think this is a great opportunity."


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46 comments
Darren
Darren

This is great - but there is one big reason why this is of no use to me and thousands of others: I do not live within walking distance of a bus stop or a train station. 


I would be more than happy to drive to a DART train station and park but DART rules explicitly prohibit parking overnight.


DART is missing out on a revenue opportunity by not offering discounted multiple-day parking privileges at its station to entice passengers to actually USE DART for getting to/from the airport.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

"The line will also benefit DFW employees, around 60,000 of whom commute to the airport, although DART officials expect around 1,000 people to access the airport line every day."

If only DFW employees ride the DART train, only 1.7% of DFW employees will be using it.  If only local airport passengers use the train, only 1.3% of the local airport passengers will be using the train.

We spent how much for this?

And due to this, the air will be fresh, clear and smell like lilacs, just like a fresh Summer's Eve.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

It may not happen in my lifetime, but I can envision a line that connects all of the current spokes, a sort of belt line, which would shorten the trip time considerably. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

So free long term parking in the DART lots?

CowtownBassGirl
CowtownBassGirl

Now to connect DFW with Fort Worth & the mid cities. Build a light rail from Centreport to the Skyrail!! There's plenty of open space in the corridor and what is not is primarily an industrial park. 

mlpjlk
mlpjlk

DART really needs a circle line. It makes no sense to travel all the way to downtown Dallas, just to take another train out to any other location.

WylieH
WylieH

Still not understanding why the City of Grapevine is allowed to collect the vast majority of sales taxes associated with the airport, but isn't being forced to allocate any of  those collected taxes to DART, considering this project is going to run right into Grapevine and be literally surrounded by all of this potential sales tax revenue.


I'm assuming this inequitable financial arrangement, which benefits Grapevine to the detriment of DART member cities (Dallas, primarily), is all in the interest of Regionalism!

Aztransplant
Aztransplant

Sorry, Phoenix beat you to it a few years back.

doublecheese
doublecheese

OK, it gets there, but can you really say it "zips"?  There's an awful lot of stops along the way.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

It should have been the fist place they went (DART)

gangstead1
gangstead1

Is the connector from the Orange/Green to Love Field still on indefinite delay since it's funds were raided for a trolley line?

Benjam
Benjam

@Darren  Does your employer allow you to park in their garage/parking lot? I would think lots of people would be able to park their cars at work for extended periods.

Benjam
Benjam

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  There is such a thing & DART already owns the Right-of-way. It's called the Cottonbelt & it runs beside Beltline through Carrollton & Coppell. Again, a small group of rich people in N. Dallas were able to block its use for some strange reason!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@WylieH doesnt it really irk you that you can take Dart right into DFW but you have to walk or bus into Love Field?  I personally find this hilarious

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Maybe with heavy use there could be an express line in the future.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@gangstead1 Depressing that a useful bit of infrastructure got axed for some useless bit of bling.

dougprude
dougprude

@gangstead1 The funds were re directed to complete the street car line from union station to Bishop Arts since the original grant only got the line to Methodist Hospital.

Dub919
Dub919

@gangstead1 It's toast thanks to the funds being raided for a trolley line.

Benjam
Benjam

@ScottsMerkin @WylieH  That's where the existing rail was before all of this & the estimate to bring it to the terminal was $75 million!

WylieH
WylieH

It's the way Ray & Kay Hutchison wanted it for their clients.

kduble
kduble

@fred.garvin.mp.713  Couldn't imagine that. It would require double tracking all the way to downtown. This would require additional ROW, and they'd have to tear down and rebuild every single station along the route.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Aztransplant I know right, but really, what does Phoenix doing this before Dallas have to do with anything?  Seriously, not one person outside of you cares.  Was that taking a shot at Dallas or something.  Because methinks many other large cities did it before Phoenix

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

It shouldn't require double tracking all the way down. NYC metro has express lines, and these are along mostly single tracks.

Aztransplant
Aztransplant

I took a shot. I ride the rail in Phoenix all the time to the airport, then get here and Hv to coordinate rides to uptown $$. It's frustrating. As a bi-city commuter, and I know others, the rail from DFW to the downtown business area has been Slow coming. And yes many cities before Phoenix had a rail system. And yes I'm obviously the only commenter to this circumstance.

kduble
kduble

@fred.garvin.mp.713  Not only would this have an aesthetic impact, but it would require a redesign of all of our stations. And NYC trains don't have an overhead catenary.

Benjam
Benjam

@Aztransplant  Have you heard of the Trinity Railway Express? It has been going to DFW  for years! You have to take 2 buses from the Centreport Station (originally was  only one that met every train) but you will have to take a train & go through security to get to any terminal besides Terminal A.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Aztransplant There ya go.  I enjoyed reading that, gives some context to your original comment. Had this been what you wrote I wouldnt have responded the way I did! Welcome to Unfair Park

Anon.
Anon.

And that is unusual for you how?

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