August 29 is the big day. That’s when the Dallas Streetcars will roll into the Bishop Arts District. The sleek vehicles already are a familiar sight in North Oak Cliff, and the extension ushers in a new era for one of the region’s most popular entertainment and shopping district – adding an extra dose of cool to a neighborhood that’s already got plenty of it.
The area has become popular for good reason: it’s one of the best collections of unique boutiques, bistros and shops in Texas. It’s not exactly a secret, as the bustling sidewalks (and parking hassles) attest. Not only will the streetcar provide the most convenient access to Bishop Arts, it’s also a fitting addition to the urban environment. After all, the neighborhood originally sprung up around the streetcar lines of the early 20th century. [link to previous article]
The streetcar is the fruition of years of planning – going back to December 2010, when the Federal Transit Administration awarded the initial $23 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant that got the ball rolling. An additional $3 million in federal stimulus dollars was later granted to the project. DART reallocated $22 million in local funds to the streetcar project. In January 2013, NCTCOG approved reallocating $31 million in state funds to the project.
The Dallas Streetcar has been an important regional partnership between DART, the City of Dallas and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). DART oversaw the construction and will operate the service under contract to the city.
Service begins at 9:30 a.m. each day — about the time things begin to stir around Bishop Arts — and the cars run until midnight, making connections with the final DART Rail trains at Union Station. Trains operate every 20 minutes, seven days a week, and the service is free.