Dallas Streetcar Debuts to Mixed Reviews

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Dallas Streetcar Debuts to Mixed Reviews

(Credit: DART)

A new Dallas streetcar carrying passengers 1.6 miles from downtown’s Union Station to Oak Cliff in a mostly uphill journey debuted yesterday, sparking some interest, some confusion and some complaints among residents.

The streetcar line is the result of a five-year project by the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, which used a 2010 $23 million federal stimulus grant, DART, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. According to the Dallas Morning News, an additional $3 million in stimulus money and other revenue allocations brought the investment to $50 million.

As with Atlanta’s new streetcar, which started rolling along its 2.7 miles at the end of December (cost: $98 million), there are plans to expand the line — buoyed in part by a nationwide embrace of the transit mode. A new $130 million-plus line for Seattle is on track to open this summer. And even though officials killed a streetcar project in Arlington last fall, Sacramento and Milwaukee are pressing ahead with their streetcar plans.

The first day of Dallas service saw a handful of glitches, with transit enthusiasts seeing potential for growth and improvement when the service expands. The Dallas Observer reported the car will eventually connect the Omni Convention Center hotel to the Bishop Arts District and the McKinney Avenue trolley, giving locals much more reason to chose the ride.

Architecture critic Mark Lamster also provided a play-by-play review during his ride on the streetcar.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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Tags: streetcarsdallas

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