This week, we’re testing your knowledge on two of DART’s newest Capital Investment Projects, the D2 Subway and the Cotton Belt! Although both of these projects fall into the category of Capital Investment Projects, they each have unique purposes, are funded in different ways, and both offer specific benefits to bettering the DART system as a whole. We’re here to break down these differences and provide you with the evidence of just how the Cotton Belt and the D2 Subway both make North Texas a winner.
Below are two facts and one fiction about the Cotton Belt and the D2 subway. Can you tell which statements are true and which one is false?
The D2 Subway will create more flexibility within the current system and will relieve bottlenecking occurring in downtown Dallas. The Cotton Belt will open up the region, building links between the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the University of Texas at Dallas, Carrollton, Irving, Richardson, Plano, and Dallas.
The D2 Subway and the Cotton Belt will both seek federal funding from the Core Capacity Grant program.
All Capital Planning Projects seek to support a single goal: provide affordable, flexible mobility; stimulate economic development; and improve the quality of life for all who live in North Texas.
Statement 1: TRUE
The D2 Subway will provide a second rail alignment to relieve current bottlenecking that occurs on existing lines in Dallas’s Central Business District. Increasing capacity and flexibility will allow our growing population to connect to the larger DART system and have increased mobility in our region.
The Cotton Belt is a 26-mile regional rail line stretching from Plano to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This new transit project will connect seven cities, creating even greater mobility and access for all residents across North Texas.
Statement 2: FALSE
Because the Cotton Belt and the D2 Subway are intended to fulfill different needs for the North Texas region, funding for each of these projects comes from different federal funding sources. For example, only the D2 Subway project qualifies for Core Capacity federal funding. DART will be seeking funding for the Cotton Belt regional rail line via a low-interest loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Statement 3: TRUE
Capital Planning Projects are important to DART and to North Texas. DART’s Capital Planning Projects are larger system projects that work to create new forms of transportation, and connections that strengthen not just one area but the entire DART system.
We know that it can get confusing when it comes to developing these large-scale transportation undertakings. Both the D2 Subway and the Cotton Belt will add unique benefits and increased flexibility to our system even though the project development and funding process is very different for both.