DALLAS WELCOMES STREETCAR RENAISSANCE

By Kevin Wilcox

March 15, 2016 — When city leaders in Dallas began considering ways to better connect the downtown area such neighborhoods to the southwest as North Oak Cliff and the trendy and eclectic Bishop Arts District, a modern streetcar system quickly rose to the top of the options list. Such systems have light, nimble vehicles that blend seamlessly into the urban and community fabric and can be very reliable.

They also have a key intangible. "There is something about rail that people flock to," says Timothy H. McKay, P.E., M.ASCE, the executive vice president of growth and regional development for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). DART is developing and operating the system, which is owned by the City of Dallas and was financed with a U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to the North Texas Council of Governments. The first phase of the project opened in April 2015. A second phase is under construction, scheduled for completion later this year.

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