The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail stop that used to be called Mockingbird Station has been renamed.
You vill now call it SMU/Mockingbird Station. Silence!
The name change comes following an approval by the DART Board to a naming rights agreement with SMU. A release says that this will make it easier for visitors to find the campus and will cement the rail station's role as a gateway to the university.
We are all but satellites in the SMU universe.
The DART Board authorized a 10-year agreement in November 2018, and SMU was added to the station name this summer.
The station is located in Dallas at Mockingbird Lane and US 75, where three lines — Red, Orange, and Blue — run though, as well as several bus routes.
Mockingbird Station has somehow survived as the lowly "Mockingbird Station" since its opening in 1997, when it was the linchpin in a cool mixed-use development, one of the first of its kind in Dallas, created by the late visionary developer Ken Hughes.
In addition to the commuters who take it from Plano and other northern areas to downtown Dallas, it has served as a transportation resource for SMU students, faculty, staff, and visitors, including a shuttle service, the Mustang Express, that connects the DART station to the campus.
Not enough. Need the name.
In a statement, SMU President R. Gerald Turner points out that the timing is perfect for an upcoming football game. Football fans could accidentally get off at the CityPlace stop or the Lovers Lane stop, not realizing that Mockingbird Station is The One.
"We have so many activities on our campus we want to share with our neighbors, including SMU’s first home football game against the University of North Texas on Saturday, September 7," Turner says. "Taking DART to SMU/Mockingbird Station is an easy way to get to a wide variety of SMU events – from Division I sporting events, to lectures and artistic performances, as well as to the George W. Bush Presidential Center."
Here's some numbers: Approximately 2,800 riders travel through SMU/Mockingbird Station on an average weekday. SMU has faculty and nearly 12,000 students. DART's Mustang Express provides service to the campus for approximately 500 riders each weekday.
The total cost to SMU for the agreement is $463,000. The university will also pay for all rebranding costs at the beginning and end of the contact, including signage, printing of schedules, and maps.