With designs moving forward, DART tries to figure out ways to fund new subway line in Dallas

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
light-rail transit
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Two years ago the Dallas City Council was defiant in its call for a subway system in the downtown area. Now, the voice is nervous. As DART presented plans to the City Council on Jan. 21, many are wondering how they are going to pay the $1.4 billion price tag.

Officials are hoping federal grants would cover half of the cost, and DART could borrow the rest. However, if federal funding dries up DART might be millions short of the borrow limit to construct the new subway line, called D-2. DART President Gary Thomas still believes other sources could fill the dollar void.

D-2 design is expected to reach the 20 percent complete milestone in the spring. If funding flows, the line should receive construction approval by the end of 2021, with service starting by the end of 2024.

D-2 will be a 2-mile subway route with five stations. The line will split from existing DART light rail near the American Airlines Center, go underground and then surface under the I-345 elevated freeway just outside of Deep Ellum. It will re-connect with existing rail at Live Oak Street.

DART is currently in the process of purchasing the necessary right-of-way for the D-2 route.

DART also is taking on strong opposition for its proposed $1.2 billion Silver Line that would run between Plano, Texas, and the DFW Airport. Neighbors want the line to go underground instead of behind houses.

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