You can make a lot of things out of cotton. In Dallas area, what was once known as the “Cotton Belt” railroad track is now going to be DART’s new Silver Line.
The 26-mile east-west transit line that will link Plano, Texas, with the DFW International Airport has been talked about for 30 years. During that span, residents have been left with just a bus service for transportation. Now they will have a transit line that will open in 2022. Officials broke ground on the Silver Line project on Sept. 19.
The DART Silver Line has faced some strong opposition. North Dallas homeowners did not want a rail service buzzing through their backyards. There also are plans to run the Silver Line over a hike and bike trail, and some residents would prefer a tunnel. Supporters of a second downtown line in Dallas now believe it might be impossible for DART to come up with the necessary funds now that the Silver Line project has the green light. DART CEO Gary Thomas says there is a 20-year financial plan in place that will make the city route—called the D2—possible.
The Silver Line will use self-powered cars instead of DART’s more traditional light-rail electric cars.
The University of Texas at Dallas has centered its rapid growth on the Silver Line. The UTD student population has doubled over the past 10 years to almost 30,000. New housing and academic buildings have been built on the north side of what will be a Silver Line station.
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