The Federal Transit Administration has awarded Dallas Area Rapid Transit $1 million to plan for transit oriented developments (TOD) at five stations along the Dallas Central Business District as DART continues to work on a second light-rail alignment project through downtown. The FTA's pilot program is intended to improve access, encourage ridership and spur economic and mixed-use development.
$600,000 has been awarded to the Denton County Transportation Authority. The DCTA is planning for TODs at up to six potential rail stations along a 25-mile segment of the existing Kansas City Southern freight rail line in Denton County. Long-term rail planning includes regional rail along a stretch of KCS Railway from Lewisville to Richardson and another segment from Denton to north of Krum, Texas where the KCS joins BNSF Railway.
In a news release the FTA said "the Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps support FTA’s mission of improving public transportation for America’s communities by providing funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a new fixed guideway or core capacity transit capital investment." DART was one of 23 transit agencies nationwide in the pilot program.
DART's 26-mile Silver Line project, which tracks along the old Cotton Belt rail line through Dallas County, is still scheduled to be completed in 2022 despite construction slowdowns due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The east-west regional rail project crosses seven cities and, when completed, will connect Plano to DFW International Airport. Riders at DFW will be able to change to the existing TEXRail service and be able to continue to Fort Worth.
Silver Line work has been underway since November with the construction of bridges, retaining walls and embankments along the existing line, which continues to handle freight traffic.
Design work for the line is 60% complete, according to DART. After the city of Dallas asked for modifications, changes are being made to at-grade crossings at Hillcrest Road and Coit Road in North Dallas.