It’s no secret. Our region is growing – seemingly by the minute! North Texas welcomed more than 140,000 new residents in 2015-2016; more than any other metro area welcomed in one year. This growth speaks to the vitality of our region. A healthy job market, strong employment opportunities, diverse and affordable housing, as well as our engaging culture, has continued to draw people en masse to North Texas. While North Texans welcome new businesses, people, and industries with open arms, we must ensure that our infrastructure – including our transit infrastructure — can support and sustain our new neighbors.
A robust population with a transit system to match
While population growth is certainly a good thing for North Texas, it can quickly become a burden if it grows unchecked without supportive infrastructure. That’s where DART comes in. We know that a population cannot continue to grow and prosper unless people have an accessible means of moving about. Public transit allows those who cannot drive, or who choose not to drive maintain access to employment, retail, healthcare, education, and critical public services. Additionally it keeps our roads clear – allowing not just our cars, but our commerce to flow freely.
Let’s take a closer look at how DART considers population when beginning Capital Projects.
- How will the D2 Subway support our population growth? As DART moves through the project development process, we have developed some concepts for stations along the proposed corridors. One of these stations is Metro Center (see map below). This area’s population alone is anticipated to almost quadruple by 2040. The D2 Subway can help support transit opportunities for new and existing residents. An underground station could transform our current DART west transfer center, providing riders with a multi-level station experience. This transit hub could also support transit-oriented development, including housing and mixed-use opportunities; transforming this neighborhood into a destination.
- How will the Cotton Belt support our population growth? The Cotton Belt will stretch 26 miles and provide access to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson, and Plano. This regional rail line will support our growing region, and ease congestion for riders and non-riders alike; providing environmental as well as time saving benefits. Trips to and from DFW Airport will allow residents and visitors to hop off a flight and onto our rail, traveling seamlessly without the struggle of sitting in traffic, or the expense of taking a taxi.
|New businesses bring new people
Our area has grown and continues to grow into an international business hub. Businesses are relocating to the region, spurring economic growth across North Texas. For example, since 2010 70 companies have moved their headquarters to North Texas! One of these businesses is Toyota who has recently moved in, building a 2-million-square-foot campus in Plano. Toyota has chosen North Texas as its U.S. headquarters and plans to employ over 4,000 people. Corporate relocations can bring bountiful commercial, cultural, and retail benefits to the surrounding communities.
At DART, we want to ensure that our region continues to boom for the long term. With a population inching closer to cities like New York or Chicago, North Texas must consider our transit infrastructure and develop multi-modal options to support it.