Buses to Temporarily Replace Some TRE Trains April 6-9

If you ride the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) on the weekends, temporary changes will be coming to your route the first weekend in April.

April 6-9, buses will replace TRE trains between West Irving and CentrePort/DFW Airport stations to aid in the replacement of a bridge over Bear Creek, a major step in TRE’s ongoing capacity improvements.

The substitution will only impact the final two westbound trains on Friday evening, April 6, and all operations on Saturday, April 7, and Monday, April 9.

Passengers can expect possible delays of up to 45 minutes on a typical commute and are encouraged to allow an ample amount of extra time on those days. Weather permitting, normal rail service should resume on Tuesday, April 10.

The closure will enable TRE to increase safety and flexibility with double-track capabilities.

We apologize for any temporary inconvenience. For more information, please contact DART (DART.org or 214-979-1111) or Trinity Metro (FWTA.org or 817-215-8600).

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Progress Report: Transit-Oriented Development Grows North Texas

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Arrival of the Green Line at Downtown Carrollton Station attracted new housing, restaurants and special events to Historic Downtown Carrollton.

According to a May 2017 report from the Economics Research Group at the University of North Texas, public and private developers have invested a combined $10.8 billion in transit-oriented development projects near or along DART’s 93-mile light rail system since 1999.

From the mixed-use Village of Rowlett to the redevelopment of Garland’s downtown square, to the Mustang Station apartments in Farmers Branch, development near DART Rail illustrates how transit infrastructure transforms cities and supports North Texas’ economic vitality.

The Cedars in Dallas

Developer Jack Matthews sparked the resurgence of The Cedars, a district just south of Downtown Dallas, when he opened South Side on Lamar in 2000. The development is a circa 1913 Sears & Roebuck warehouse reimagined as lofts and artists’ studios, located two blocks from Cedars Station, which opened in 1996.

“Consumers today want to live, work and play easily,” Matthews said. “That’s why I look for properties that are near public transit.”

His company, Matthews Southwest, helped create The Cedars of today with projects like The Belleview apartments, NYLO Hotel, Gilley’s/South Side Ballroom, The Beat lofts, and dine-in cinema Alamo Drafthouse.

A proposed high-speed rail line, connecting Houston to Dallas, promises further transformation with a station located in the neighborhood.

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Parkland Hospital’s new campus in Dallas

Parkland Health & Hospital System designed the new 2.8 million-square-foot Parkland Hospital campus with patients’ needs in mind, including easy access to DART light rail and bus.

The DART Green Line runs through the center of the flagship campus. Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station serves the new Parkland, which opened in August 2015.

The old Parkland campus still houses some outpatient clinics. Parkland Shuttles 704 and 705, operated by DART, help connect the two facilities. The shuttles make it easy for patients and staff to move between the various parts of campus and to reach DART.

Parkland also participates in the DART Employer Annual Pass program, offering subsidized annual passes to employees based on need. This offers employees an affordable option for getting to and from their jobs.

Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving

Two major developments, which together represent nearly $400 million in investment, are fast taking shape near the Irving Convention Center and Las Colinas Urban Center stations, thanks in part to DART Rail service.

“When the two Las Colinas stations opened a few years ago, they effectively turned our community into a 352-acre transit-oriented development – and the latest projects show the power of light rail to attract significant private capital,” said Beth Bowman, president/CEO of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.

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The long-awaited Toyota Music Factory, the $175 million entertainment district located on Las Colinas Boulevard near the Irving Convention Center, began operating in September. The first area to open was The Pavilion, a convertible indoor-outdoor entertainment venue and rental space.

Between the Irving Music Factory and the Irving Convention Center, Westin Hotels & Resorts is constructing the $110 million, 350-room Westin Irving Convention Center Hotel. The hotel should open by early 2019.

Nearby on North O’Connor Boulevard, multifamily housing developer Gables Residential is constructing Water Street, a $100 million mixed-use community overlooking Lake Carolyn. The development is near the Las Colinas Urban Center Station.

Also in Irving, Verizon is developing its $1 billion Hidden Ridge mixed-use development, which will include Pioneer Natural Resources’ new headquarters. DART will build the deferred Carpenter Ranch Station to serve the area.

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Downtown Plano Arts District

The opening of DART’s Downtown Plano Station in 2002 ignited renewed interest and reinvestment in the city’s aging downtown area.

Guided by the 1999 Downtown Plano Transit Village Plan, developers, small-business owners and the city of Plano have revived the heart of the city. Historic buildings have been converted to shops, restaurants, museums, art galleries and office space. New construction has added more than 1,000 residential units, including apartments, condos and single-family homes.

“DART ignited a renaissance and today downtown Plano is a vibrant destination for shopping, dining, the arts and cultural experiences,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said.

With ample opportunities for redevelopment and infill projects, the city is planning for downtown Plano’s continued growth, such as new housing, businesses, shopping and entertainment. The prospect of a Cotton Belt transit station on downtown Plano’s south side further expands the district’s potential.

Historic Downtown Carrollton

Passenger rail is driving development in downtown Carrollton, as it did in the early 1900s. With the arrival of the DART Green Line in 2010, the city reimagined its downtown.

The city improved walkability by recreating public spaces, pushing parking to the outskirts of the area and adding a walk-bike path between the square and Downtown Carrollton Station.

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Carrollton strategically recruited a top-tier developer to create a mixed-use housing development. Built in phases, Union at Carrollton Square offers over 4,600 square feet of ground-floor restaurant space and more than 300 apartments. The project was the city’s first major transit-oriented residential development.

The city continues to attract unique shopping and dining experiences around the square, which is anchored by a signature gazebo. Downtown Carrollton now hosts special events year-round, including its capstone event, Festival at the Switchyard.

CityLine in Richardson

Richardson’s massive, 200-acre CityLine project broke ground in 2013, and today is one of Texas’ largest transit-oriented developments. Where empty fields once stood, CityLine now is home to a day-time population of 15,000 with luxurious single-family and multifamily housing, and Whole Foods Market as a retail anchor.

Corporate anchors State Farm and Raytheon were drawn to the site thanks to multimodal access provided in part by CityLine/Bush Station.

Learn more about how DART keeps you moving in our latest progress report.

 

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

Easter weekend is here, and with it a host of events – some of them seasonal, some of them not so much. Of course, you can visit the Easter Bunny. You can also catch grown-up cultural events, rock out, or sample an Imperial Horchata Ale (yes, that’s a real thing). Read on to see where DART can take you this weekend.

 

Friday, March 30

The Big Texas Beer Fest runs tonight and tomorrow at the Automobile Building in Fair Park.  Dallas’ original beer festival features hundreds of brews, including exclusive and rare beers, one-offs and the like. Tickets were still available at press time; if the idea gets you foaming at the mouth, best jump on it quickly, as the event has been known to sell out. We can guarantee tickets will be available to DART’s Green Line, which will get you to Fair Park Station, within steps of the popular event.

Today and Saturday, hop on up to Reunion Tower’s GeO-Deck for Easter Fun for Every Bunny. Kids 12 and under can snap a photo with the Easter Bunny; Diamond Jim Tyler will stroll the deck with interactive sleight-of-hand and card tricks sure to amaze. The adjacent (and casual) Cloud Nine Café has terrific eats along with the best view in town. You can get to Reunion Tower via an underground pedestrian tunnel from Union Station, served by the Red and Blue lines, as well as the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).

Saturday, March 31

Did you know there are free movies throughout the year at Downtown Garland’s Plaza Theatre?  Not only that, but you can watch classic movies while enjoying concessions at a classic price (two bucks for most items). This evening, it’s the 1948 Easter Parade starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Peter Lawford – not to mention music by the great Irving Berlin. The theater is a short walk from Downtown Garland Station.

Last call for a masterful courtroom thriller — Witness for the Prosecution, the Irving Arts Center’s production of an Agatha Christie classic. Leonard Vole is on trial for a grisly murder. His wife is a witness for the prosecution. What could possibly go wrong? Fact and fiction are hard to tease apart in this nail-biting drama, which gets its final performance tonight. To get to the venue, take Bus Route 401 (departing from North Lake College Station) or Bus Route 505 from the University of Dallas Station, and get off and MacArthur and Finley.

Also drawing to a close: Nasher Prize Celebration Month, in which the acclaimed sculpture center pays kudos to its 2017 Nasher Prize Laureate, Pierre Huyghe. Today, the museum will host a pair of dialogues, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The first is with the jury who selected the sculptor; the second is a conversation between the artist himself and the senior curator at the National Gallery of Art. The Nasher Sculpture Center is a short walk from St. Paul Station, and is also served by the D-Link (Route 722).

Sunday, April 1

Get ready to do some serious air guitar at Michael Schenker Fest, which features the heavy metal hero – formerly of the Scorpions and UFO — teaming up with four vocalists from different eras of his career. The shredding happens at The Bomb Factory, one of Dallas’ premier performance venues, located a short walk from Baylor University Medical Center.

 

 

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DART Aims to Improve Bus Service with March 26 Change

To improve the customer experience, DART will implement significant bus service enhancements March 26. Some of the changes DART riders will see include:

  • Off-peak frequency improvements on 10 routes. On affected routes, this means buses arrive every 30 minutes instead of 40 or 60. Midday frequency on Bus Route 592, which serves Lake June, will go from 40 minutes to 20 minutes.
  • Service restructuring to improve on time performance for five routes. Bus Route 400, for example, will be split into two routes: 402 and 403. Riders can take Bus Route 402 from Downtown Carrollton to Downtown Garland. Bus Route 403 will go from Irving Convention Center Station to Spring Valley Station. The two routes overlap between Downtown Carrollton and Spring Valley, resulting in double the frequency of service for riders in this area.
  • Introducing new routes to provide additional coverage. In North East Dallas, for example, Capitol Avenue is served by Bus Route 24. Beginning March 26, this area will be served by a new route, Bus Route 84. The new bus route will offer extended service on Greenville Avenue north of Mockingbird Lane.
  • OnDemand bus service. GoLink is a new service that combines the low cost of public transportation with the convenience and technology of ride-sourcing. Service began Feb. 26 in Rylie, Kleberg and the International Inland Port of Dallas, a huge freight trucking and rail hub in southern Dallas County. Service started March 12 in North Central Plano. Service will expand in the Legacy area of Plano March 26. DART riders who previously took Bus Route 346 will begin using GoLink instead. Far North Plano will see the new GoLink service in August.

Click here to learn more about the March 26 service changes.

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Faces of DART: Bob’s Story

Faces of DART is highlighting the stories of everyday North Texans who benefit from a strong transit system. Just take a look at Oliver Aguilar, an insurance adjuster who says transit helps make his daily commute to the office less stressful and his days more productive.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce another of the many Faces of DART—local business owner Bob Sambol.

Check out the video below to hear what transit means to Bob – and how it’s helping drive employment and entertainment opportunities in our region.

 

Bob is president of a property management company that oversees the more than a dozen local restaurants that make up the first phase of the Trinity Groves development, just across the river from downtown Dallas. Together, these businesses employ roughly 500 North Texans—with more development opportunities planned for the future.

As Bob mentions, DART plays an important role in this innovative project—not only by providing customers and visitors greater convenience, but also by attracting a stronger, more diverse workforce to help these North Texas businesses succeed. No matter how you use it—or even if you use it at all—public transit is helping power a stronger, more vibrant economy across our entire region.

We’ll be back with another one of our Faces of DART profiles soon—in the meantime, do you have a story to tell about how transit impacts your life? Share it on the Faces of DART page today!

 

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

A very musical weekend is in store, with tributes, free outdoor shows, and at least one big-ticket act hitting North Texas at DARTable venues. There’s other stuff, too, of course, all accessible by transit. Enjoy the weather and leave the driving to DART!

Friday, March 23

Rhymin N Stealin bill themselves as “the original Beastie Boys tribute band,” and they’re known for their high-energy performances. Tonight, they bring their act to the Granada Theater – expect a meticulously recreated experience of the platinum-selling band from New York City. The Granada is a short walk from Mockingbird Station; Bus routes 1 and 24 both depart from there, and will get you within a block.

If classic country music is more your style, there’s a very different kind of tribute going on at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. In Sweet Dreams, recording artist Mandy Barnett takes audiences on a musical journey through the Patsy Cline songbook. Any fan of the great countrypolitan singer’s work would be “Crazy” to miss it. The Eisemann is next to Galatyn Park Station.

And what can you say about Beck? The groundbreaking musician is both influential and popular, and tonight he’ll be at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, the new(ish) venue known for its great acoustics and sightlines. It’s a brief stroll from Irving Convention Center Station.

Saturday, March 24

JUNTXS: A Border Arts Symposium at the Latino Cultural Center explores the borderlands through film, comics, printmaking and textiles. Artists Analise Minjarez and Sarita Westrup headline the exhibition with multimedia art that portrays their home on the Texas-Mexico border. Several other artists are represented, as well. The venue is a block away from Deep Ellum Station.

For a hilarious crash course in classic literature, check out The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, across the street from Mockingbird Station. Three comedians in tights cover all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in less than two hours. The rollicking performance is not for children!

And Carrollton’s Concerts on the Square is kicking into gear for the season, with a concert by Dallas singer/songwriter Justin Philip Brooks. His approach to folk, country and gospel will have you swearing you’re on a front porch in the deep woods of East Texas. The square is accessible by Downtown Carrollton Station.

Sunday, March 25
Today would be a great day to check out First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone at the Nasher Sculpture Center. This is the first museum exhibition that explores the artistic aspects of ancient handaxes and figure stones. It turns out that the longest-used tool in human history is more than a crude tool – it can be a fascinating work of art, too, with some examples dating back two million years. Take any DART Rail line to St. Paul Station, and you’re a three-block walk away from the Nasher. The M-Line Trolley or the D-Link (Route 722) – now running on Sundays! – are good ways to get there, as well.

 

 

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ICYMI: 5 Takeaways from our Cotton Belt Facebook Live

Last week, Chad Edwards, Kay Shelton, and Carlos Huerta provided an update on the Cotton Belt project, where it currently stands, and what comes next during a special Cotton Belt Facebook Live. Chad and Kay also answered questions from the viewers about just how the Cotton Belt will impact their communities.

In case you missed it, watch the Cotton Belt Facebook Live here. Today we’re leaving you with five key things you should know about North Texas’ latest regional rail line.

  1. Current status and public comment period.

DART is currently wrapping up the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cotton Belt project, which is being led by the the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), and in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Once published in the next several weeks, there will be a 45-day public comment period during which DART will be hosting public comment hearings, giving each speaker three minutes to provide their comments. All information gathered during these hearings will be recorded and addressed in the final EIS. You can also send your comments electronically by emailing [email protected].

  1. Timeline and history.

Iterations of the Cotton Belt project have been included in DART’s transit plan since 1983. The project has evolved over the years in response to the massive population growth in our region—which makes sense since the region has grown by more than 1 million people! To prepare for more growth and maintain flexibility in our region in the future, DART reinitiated the project in late 2016 and spent the next year holding numerous meetings, collecting data, conducting analyses, and identifying potential issues along the corridor where mitigation may be needed. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2019 with completion expected in December 2022.

  1. Proposed mitigation efforts.

The draft EIS will cover many ways DART will mitigate potential issues, including traffic, noise, vibration, safety, and preserving historic landmarks. The draft EIS not only addresses the potential impacts the project could have on local communities, but also includes what DART is doing to prevent or minimize these impacts. For example, in the case of sound or noise impacts, DART is proposing noise barrier walls as well as the establishment of 36 new “quiet zones” along the corridor. A quiet zone eliminates the need to blow the train horn when passing through street crossings, reducing a major source of noise issues in residential communities.

  1. Vehicle selection.

Along with corridor design and mitigation efforts, the actual vehicles planned for use in the Cotton Belt help ensure the project fits seamlessly into the communities it will serve. In this case, the vehicles will be very similar (although not exact replicas) to the vehicles TEXRail will be using for their project. At 267 feet long, they are comparable in size to two light rail vehicles already in service. The vehicles the Cotton Belt will be using will have new, self-propelled technology so there is no overhead wire system, resulting in a cleaner look without a lot of poles and wires.

  1. Corridor adjustments.

DART owns the entire 26-mile stretch of railroad corridor from Plano to DFW. In a few key locations along the route, however, the Cotton Belt corridor will deviate from the existing line to better connect the communities to the services, destinations, and opportunities they seek. This includes Cypress Waters, a mixed-use development in Dallas; downtown Carrollton, a hub for different railways that requires a separate track to ensure the Cotton Belt schedule is not impacted; and the CityLine development in Richardson, which is a dynamic new area that is opening employment, entertainment, and economic opportunities. 

Thanks for tuning in to our Cotton Belt Facebook Live or catching up with what you missed here.  If you have any other questions about the project, visit www.DART.org/cottonbelt or email us at [email protected].

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St. Patrick’s Day Recap

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Thanks for riding DART to the Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival. Here are a few scenes from the event:

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Have You Downloaded the DART Say Something App?

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Report incidents to DART Police more discreetly than making a phone call with the new DART Say Something Safety and Security App.

The app gives you the assurance that someone is attending to your request with its two-way communication capabilities that allow police dispatchers to request further details.

When you’re in the app, you can select the type of activity you want to report, as well as the location. You also can submit photos, videos and additional notes before hitting send report.

“Many people are afraid to call the police during a situation, but no one pays attention if you are typing on your smartphone,” DART Police Chief James Spiller said. “The DART Say Something app allows customers to send updates to dispatchers on what’s happening without being noticed. Having instant, detailed information from witnesses on the scene will help us resolve incidents faster.”

Visit the App Store or the Google Play store and download the free DART Say Something app on your iPhone or Android device.

Don’t have a smartphone? Don’t worry. Non-smartphone users can call the system’s text-a-tip service at 214-256-1819.

For more information about the new DART Say Something app, visit: http://www.dart.org/riding/dartpoliceelerts.asp.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

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It’s that time again – time to celebrate Dallas’ St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival. But that’s not all. There are cool cultural events, ways to cap off spring break, and even a food festival… all accessible by DART. If you’re DARTing to St. Paddy’s (and even if you’re not!), skip the lines at the ticket machine by downloading GoPass, DART’s app that lets you buy and store tickets (plus a lot of other neat features) right on your phone.

Friday, March 16

Make the last day of spring break memorable at Spring to the Top at Reunion Tower. The GeO-Deck’s breathtaking 360-degree views are the star of the show; the supporting cast includes Dallas Zoo Animal Adventures. This is the last day of this spectacular, kid-centric event. You can get to Reunion Tower by a pedestrian tunnel from Union Station, served by the Red and Blue lines, as well as the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).

’til Midnight at the Nasher – the free monthly event with live outdoor concerts paired with film screenings in the Nasher Garden – happens tonight. This month, Psychic Ills takes the stage, and 1975’s Cooley High will be on the screen. There’s a cash bar and food, as well. Just across the street, Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art will feature its usual awesome assortment of performances, concerts, readings, film screenings, family programs, and more. You can get to either venue by taking any DART Rail line to St. Paul Station and walking a few blocks. The D-Link (Bus Route 722) and the M-Line Trolley are good bets, too.

It’s the opening night of Witness for the Prosecution, an Agatha Christie courtroom thriller presented by the Irving Arts Center. Leonard Vole is on trial for a grisly murder. His wife is a witness for the prosecution. Will she defend him or get him hanged? Fact and fiction are hard to tease apart in this masterfully paced drama. To get to the arts center, take Bus Route 401 from the TRE’s Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station, and get off at MacArthur and Finley.

Saturday, March 17

Feeling lucky? You will – or at least you’ll feel Irish – at the 39th Annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival, the beloved local celebration that, for many, is the party of the year. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street, and ends at SMU Boulevard. There will be the usual outrageous floats, colorful costumes and all-around rambunctiousness – not to mention food trucks, plenty of green beer (including craft brews), and fun vendors and exhibitors. Enjoy the festivities safely by taking the Red or Orange lines to Lovers Lane Station; both those lines plus the Blue Line will get you to Mockingbird Station, also a great starting point. There will be some bus detours to accommodate the fun – click here for details.

If something a little less rowdy is more your pace, Taste of Garland is serving up the fun at the Granville Arts Center. Eat to your heart’s content – tons of local restaurants and other culinary establishment will be dishing their best, and there will be silent and live auctions, as well. It all benefits Garland Crime Stoppers. This homey, family-friendly event is a delicious way to celebrate St. Paddy’s, and it’s right next to Downtown Garland Station on the Blue Line. For advance tickets, call 972-485-4859 or 214-402-6492.

Sunday, March 18

It’s last call for Honeymoon at Graveside Manor, the Amateur Community Theatre of Rowlett’s farcical horror story playing at Main Street Events – right next to the Downtown Rowlett Station. Marian is looking forward to her honeymoon, envisioning a romantic, secluded getaway. It turns out that Graveside Manor is a haunted former mortuary full of secret passageways. A cast of memorable characters, including a hatchet-wielding ghost, an absent-minded cop and an escaped lunatic, rounds out this fun production accessible by the Blue Line.

 

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