DART gets major federal grant to help it build longer train stations

DART gets major federal grant to help it build longer train stations

DART rail, train
Some DART stations are about to get longer. Photo courtesy of DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit just received a significant grant that will help fund its ongoing project to extend the platforms at some of its key stations.

According to a release, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has entered into a $60.76 million grant agreement with DART for construction of the Red and Blue Line platform extensions.

Extending the platforms will accommodate bigger, longer trains, which can accommodate more riders.

In a statement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said that "this federal investment will improve mobility for thousands of people who travel throughout the Dallas metropolitan area."

The project will lengthen platforms at 28 stations, along the existing Red and Blue light rail lines that currently accommodate trains with only two cars.

When the project is complete, all stations on these lines will be able to accommodate three-car trains.

The total project cost is $128.74 million.

The grant was announced at an event at the Downtown Plano DART station, which was attended by FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams, DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, DART Board of Directors Chair Sue Starrett Bauman, and DART Board of Directors Vice Chair Paul N. Wageman.

They chose the Plano station because it serves as an example of how public transit can create economic opportunities. The station is surrounded by homes, restaurants, retail establishments, and a revitalized downtown.

The DART Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions project will strengthen and support existing and planned developments in Plano and elsewhere along the Red and Blue lines.

The funding is provided through FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, which provides funding for major transit projects nationwide. Projects go through a multi-year, multi-step process to be eligible for consideration.

Williams said in a statement that the FTA was proud to partner with the Texas Department of Transportation and DART to help grow ridership. "Commuters in Dallas can now look forward to longer trains and a better commute," she said.