The U.S. DOT is providing a $908 million loan to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for the Silver Line Regional Rail Project.
The loan comes from the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program (RRIF) and will refinance a 2018 loan, saving DART about $190 million in interest costs.
Agencies have been asking the U.S. DOT if they could refinance loans to help offset revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic while also taking advantage of low interest rates.
“There’s no question that transit access to the rapidly growing Dallas suburbs needs to be expanded, and ensuring the new stations are accessible by walking, biking and wheelchairs will provide more options for residents and make it easier for people to choose more affordable and sustainable ways to get around,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “It is prudent to take advantage of historically low interest rates to help DART refinance this loan at a time when they, like many transit agencies around the country, continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.”
The Silver Line is a 26-mile double-track commuter rail alignment connecting the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Plano, Texas. The loan proceeds will finance part of the project, which is expected to be complete in 2023. The line also will connect with three existing DART transit lines and will have 10 stations.