Projects like D2 are built for the future. North Texas keeps booming; the population of DART service cities is expected to increase 36 percent by 2040! Expanding capacity now to accommodate our region’s future transit needs is a top priority.
A sustainable transit solution takes a long-term view of how the design of a system will not only last for decades but will ultimately save resources for the future. As our urban areas grow, creating a strategic fixed infrastructure that allows people to move in efficient ways has ripple effects that create positive service, environmental, and economic impacts. By its nature, a subway – an underground tunnel constructed out of robust materials like steel and concrete – is built to last. It’s a 100-year investment.
At the same time, we need to make sure the system we’re building for our future meets our immediate needs. Our region has made significant investments in transportation infrastructure. A sustainable program balances present demands with future opportunities.
An underground solution for downtown Dallas’ second alignment will expand capacity for the DART system overall and give riders more transit choice. A subway can provide sustainable service even when above-ground transit options may not be available. For example, a subway is resilient against natural or manmade hazards like weather, construction, traffic, or road closures.
DART considers the full lifecycle of the total transit system when creating a new capital project. A subway design for D2 will expand our system’s transit capacity, reduce roadway congestion, noise, and air pollution, and help reduce urban sprawl while protecting the surrounding ecosystem. With the adoption of D2, more people may decide to use the train to get to and around downtown Dallas, decreasing the need for and use of individual vehicles. Less fossil fuel use and emissions means a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel.
Building a subway requires a large up-front investment, but continues to pay off for years to come. A subway, as we’ve seen in other cities, becomes the “spine of the city.” Commerce builds around it, and communities spring up and thrive around its stops. A sustainable system is a flexible system, one that takes into account ease of access for maintenance, upgrades, repairs, potential for future uses, addition of lines, and intermodal connections.
A Sustainable Solution that Lasts
DART considers all different kinds of sustainability when it designs any transit system, but especially a subway. With such a large investment, it is imperative we get it right the first time, making sure it lasts for generations to come. Do you have questions about sustainability? Email us at D2@DART.org.