Ask DART: Will Dallas Love Field service change when the Wright Amendment ends?

Inwood-Love-Field-Station

During the recent news about DART’s Orange Line extension to DFW Airport, Facebook fan Justin Cook posed a different airport question:

Speaking of, whatever became of using Burbank station as a connecting point to Love? Is that still in the cards?

Also, can DART consider increasing runs to/from Inwood/Love Field station when the Wright Amendment ends in October? Perhaps from every 20 minutes to every 12? An increase in flights to/from more destinations should result in more people looking to use the DART to get to Love.

We talked to Todd Plesko, vice president of planning and development, to get some more insight into these questions.

Plesko says the original plan was to make what is now Burbank Station the main connection to Dallas Love Field because the city of Dallas and the airport considered building an automated people mover or other direct transport from that station. Those plans were ultimately deferred leaving DART to make the more cost effective decision to designate Inwood/Love Field Station as the main airport connection because of existing bus routes.

As for the second question, first some background: The Wright Amendment restricts airlines operating at Love Field with airplanes of more than 56 seats to flying only to nine nearby states. That law expires in October 2014 permitting Love Field airlines to fly to further destinations and possibly increase the number of outgoing flights.

DART Route 524 between Inwood/Love Field Station and Dallas Love Field operates every 15 minutes at peak times, 20 minutes midday and 30 minutes late at night. Plesko says increasing the shuttle frequency would increase costs and may not be as effective at aligning with the current Orange and Green line trains serving that station.

“We will monitor the volumes on the route,” he said. “If we start having load problems, we may have to consider modifying the frequency.”

Plesko says the route currently serves 350 to 400 passengers per weekday.

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