DFW Airport Station Connects DART to the World
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport are celebrating the opening of the last Orange Line segment to the new DFW Airport Station. The Aug. 18 opening means the country's longest light rail system links to the world's third-busiest airport.
"Connecting DFW Airport by light rail makes Dallas a more competitive, more attractive destination for business and travelers," said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan. "It's part of a sustained partnership over decades that's bringing billions in investment, more jobs, and a better quality of life to North Texas. Congress should pass the President's GROW AMERICA Act so that we can bring long-term support to more projects like this one in communities across the country."
In videotaped remarks presented at the DART to DFW dedication luncheon, Texas Governor Rick Perry extended his congratulations for the opening of the Orange Line's newest station.
"It's a great day for the people of the 13 cities who are a part of the DART System who now have another convenient, affordable way to catch a flight, and for people coming to North Texas to easily get to a business meeting, a family event, or just take in some of our state's many attractions," Perry said.
DFW Airport built the station as part of its Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program while DART's contractors focused on the rail line extension. According to DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, sharing construction duties allowed DART to open the station in mid-August, four months sooner than scheduled.
"We could not have achieved this rail opening early and under budget without the incredible partnership with DFW Airport," Thomas said. "Construction of the station and the Orange Line extension has been a true collaboration."
The 5-mile segment links newly renovated Terminal A and Belt Line Station, with continuing service to major regional destinations including Irving-Las Colinas, Dallas Market Center and downtown Dallas. With this opening, DFW Airport becomes the third-largest American airport with a direct rail connection to the city center.
"This is a momentous day for our customers and for DFW Airport, because passenger rail is a critical component to DFW's status as a top-tier international gateway," said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. "With the DART Orange Line connecting DFW to downtown Dallas, DFW is now on a par with global hub airports that have integrated rail, which is a major selling point for customers and conventions."
Former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered the keynote address at DART's luncheon and shared stories of her legislative efforts alongside U.S. representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson and Pete Sessions.
"I can't tell you how many times I had the Secretary of Transportation say, 'Wow. We don't have another system in America that always comes in on time and under budget.' We're up there with New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia because we have a good record," Hutchison said.
In addition to Johnson and Sessions, Representatives Marc Veasey and Michael Burgess offered congratulations at the luncheon. Thomas also thanked Rep. Kenny Marchant for his support.
Creating Worldwide Connections
North Texas residents and visitors gain improved transit access to the airport and its growing roster of international and domestic destinations. Globe-trotting travelers have come to expect convenient public transportation to their destinations.
Regional leaders believe that light rail service from the airport to the rest of the DART Service Area will help attract everything from corporations to conferences. Access to the airport will be a great benefit for out-of-state and international students attending educational institutions like the University of Dallas, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas at Dallas - all located along DART Rail.
Offering a Better Commute
DFW Airport is one of the region's major employment centers. The rail connection provides a convenient and cost-effective way to commute for the nearly 60,000 people who work there.
"Employees, as well as employers, really value this connectivity and it will make it possible for employers to grow their operations and their employee talent pool, and that's a good thing for the airport," Donohue said.
Providing Convenience and Value
Early morning and late night trains ensure passengers and employees can get to their flights, work or home. The first Orange Line train departing downtown Dallas arrives at DFW Airport Station at 3:50 a.m. The last train departs DFW Airport Station for downtown at 1:12 a.m. weekdays; 12:12 a.m. weekends. Details about the station are available at www.DART.org/DFWAirport.