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Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Proposed Texas Light Rail Route Change

By meerna Jul10,2024
Proposed Texas Light Rail Route Change

Downtown Dallas may not be included in the planned light rail route for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Regional councilors are set to consider a new route connecting Texas’ largest metropolitan area with high-speed rail at a meeting Thursday. The proposed route suggests bypassing downtown Dallas after recent hesitation on the project from the Dallas City Council.

Because planning is in the early stages, many details of the route are still being worked out. The general outline of the plan is for the high-speed train to run a 30-mile route running east-west along Interstate 30. With a stop in Arlington, the trip is expected to take about 25 minutes.

In June, the Dallas City Council put the proposal on hold, opposing a planned elevated rail line through the city’s central business district. The council voted unanimously to put the project on hold until it sees and considers an economic feasibility study, which isn’t expected to be completed until 2025.

Now, other members of the Regional Transportation Council have proposed a different route, bypassing the downtown Dallas station and placing another one farther south.

Express train
A high-speed train rides through China on June 15. Plans are underway for a new high-speed rail route connecting Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.

Sherry/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Speaking to the Fort Worth Report on Monday, Michael Morris — the director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments — said the changed route would “save” the region’s commitment to light rail. Morris also said it was ironic that Dallas City Council members opposed the elevated light rail line through the city’s downtown, since they had initially approved the plan.

Newsweek contacted the Dallas City Council and North Central Texas Council of Governments for comment via email.

Councils in the region first began studying the project in 2020. Before last month’s Dallas City Council resolution, the proposal included an elevated station in downtown Dallas, with underground stations planned for Fort Worth and Arlington. The station locations have not been finalized, but must be confirmed before the project can receive environmental approval.

Arlington Mayor Jim Ross previously told television station WFAA that the Dallas City Council cannot stop the project.

“I don’t think they can just kill the program,” Ross said, adding that the project would bring economic benefits to the growing region.

Chad West, a Dallas City Council representative on the Regional Transportation Council, told the Fort Worth Report that he supports the light rail project but believes the Dallas station should be underground.

He said any proposal to build a high-speed rail link between the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area must consider protecting downtown Dallas, especially as the city expects hundreds of thousands of tourists to arrive for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.