New cities, new stations and great new destinations were the highlights of 2002 for DART. In July, the agency opened seven new stations and extended the Red Line by more than nine miles to Richardson.
“The arrival of rail transit ushered in a new era of economic development and place-making opportunities,” said Michael Spicer, director of Development Services for the city of Richardson.
According to Spicer, light rail is dramatically transforming the Richardson landscape, attracting billions of dollars of investment – including the $1.5 billion CityLine project – and adding thousands of jobs, while creating distinctive transit-oriented neighborhoods that provide exciting alternatives to conventional suburban living.
“Truly, light rail has not only strengthened the city’s economic vitality, but also has elevated the quality of life for everyone who lives or works in Richardson,” he said.
Before the end of 2002, the DART Rail System more than doubled to 44 miles and 34 stations. On Nov. 18, DART extended rail into Downtown Garland via the Blue Line. A month later, the Red Line was extended to the new Bush Turnpike, Downtown Plano and Parker Road stations.
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said past city leaders were visionaries who dreamed of a bright future, and DART helped turn those dreams into reality through a partnership that resulted in a bustling transit-oriented, mixed-use urban center known as Downtown Plano.
“DART ignited a renaissance and today Downtown Plano is a vibrant destination for shopping, dining, the arts and cultural experiences,” said LaRosiliere. “The DART/ Plano partnership in downtown recently culminated with the prestigious designation of Great Neighborhood on the Great Places in America List.”