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3/13/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

DART Green Line will not include Dallas Love Field tunnel



The city of Dallas will not get its wish for a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) tunnel that directly connects to Dallas Love Field.

City officials had wanted DART to build the tunnel as part of the Green Line, a 27.7-mile light-rail line that will run from Pleasant Grove in southeast Dallas to Carrollton. In 2004, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) said the project would not be recommended for federal funding if it included the tunnel because ridership projections and potential travel-time savings did not justify the additional cost.

In July 2006, the FTA awarded DART a $700 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the $1.4 billion project, which calls for building the line just west of Love Field. Last month, city officials asked DART to revisit the tunnel option because residents living near the airport raised concerns about the rail alignment. However, FTA officials last week and any changes made to the current route or station configuration would put the agency in breach of contract with the FTA and jeopardize the FFGA. So, DART and Dallas officials will continue to develop an alternative transit access from the rail line into the airport’s terminal area, such as a people mover system.

The Green Line is the largest portion of an expansion program that will double DART’s rail network to more than 90 miles by 2013. The line’s first phase, which will extend southeast of downtown Dallas to Fair Park, is scheduled to open in 2009. The remainder of the Green Line is expected to open in late 2010.


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