Dallas, TX – DART launches its 28-mile "Green Line" today. KERA's BJ Austin says it took four years to build the 1.8 Billion dollar rail line from southeast Dallas to North Carrollton.
The "center" segment of the Green Line opened in September last year, running from the Victory Station at American Airlines Center, to Fair Park.
Today, the Green Line light-rail service extends from Buckner and Elam in Pleasant Grove to Frankford and I-35 in Carrollton.
Carrollton Mayor Ron Branson believes people will discover commuting by train is a great way to go.
Branson: It probably won't be a mad rush at the beginning, but as people start seeing this is successful; word of mouth gets around how much money they're saving; how convenient it is, it's going to evolve. And I think it'll evolve rather quickly.
DART officials say they expect the Green Line will increase daily trips of light rail by 50% within a year.
Farmers Branch resident Stephanie Scott likes the idea of taking the train but not to work.
Scott: I see us as a family on a Saturday going to downtown Dallas to eat. Going to the Zoo, I have an eleven year old daughter, she's very excited about that. I have family from out of town, so I can see this being just a fun thing, different from anything that we've ever done before.
A day-pass on Dallas rail or bus is four dollars. A rail-only, one way ticket is $1.75. Tickets are purchased at machines on the station platforms.
DART's President Gary Thomas says the new line offers riders a seamless connection with services and jobs - stopping at Baylor Medical Center, downtown, the Market district, Parkland and UT Southwestern, plus Farmers Branch and Carrollton.
Next summer, Denton County Transit Authority's A-Train will connect the Green Line's Trinity Mills station with stops in Lewisville and Denton, home of two universities.
DART Rail Map, with Green Line: http://www.dart.org/about/servicechange/06dec10/maps/printrailmap.asp
Green Line Stations and Bus Route changes: http://www.dart.org/about/servicechange/servicechange.asp