Dallas light rail, the tip of the transit iceberg
Wednesday, February 27, 2012
FastLane, Official Blog of the US Secretary of Transportation
Whether it’s reducing highway traffic by taking cars off the road, slowing the effect of carbon emissions, or spurring economic development along bus, subway, streetcar, and light rail routes, public transit helps move America. In Dallas, for example, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Green Line corridor is expected to spur some 48,000 long-term jobs in health care, restaurants, and other job creating industries along its route.
And last week, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff toured the completed 28-mile Green Line light rail expansion to see firsthand the billions of dollars of transformational economic development resulting from the federal government’s investments in the region.PeterRogoff in front of construction
FTA Administrator Rogoff tours Green Line and the economic development it has generated.
The good news from North Texas doesn’t end with the Green Line. DART is also experiencing significant economic development along its 14-mile Orange Line corridor that will connect Dallas, Irving, and ultimately DFW International Airport.
And at a time when gas prices are soaring, these transit lines are more like life lines connecting thousands of people with jobs, school, and world-class medical facilities. This all adds up to a better quality of life for Dallas residents, who can keep more of their paychecks in their pockets, and spend less at the gas pump.
As Administrator Rogoff said, “Dallas and DART should be proud of what they’ve accomplished and continue to accomplish for the millions living and working in North Texas today, and for the generations to come.”
Administrator Rogoff at Buckner Station
But, as he also reminded listeners:
“We didn’t get here overnight, and we didn’t get here without a steady and reliable federal partner. The Green Line project alone received some $700 million in capital funding from FTA, and $61.2 million was invested in the Orange Line. We got here because President Obama understands that–even in austere times–building the transportation our nation needs isn’t a luxury, but a necessity.”
That’s why the budget the President proposed continues to address the need for transit with an increase of six percent over previous funding levels.
While Dallas operates more miles of light rail service than any other American community, the Big D is just the tip of the transit iceberg. In city after city, we’ve seen the unmistakable proof that transit transforms communities, revives aging downtown centers, creates jobs, and connects businesses and families with opportunity.
But those benefits will not make their way into cities and towns across the country unless Congress passes a long-term transportation bill that gets Americans back to work on more projects like DART’s Green Line.
Now is the time to move forward. Now is the time to work together making an America that’s built to last.