DART-Light Rail In Dallas Case Study

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Dallas was late to build a municipal rail transport system, yet today its DART light rail system is the largest in the United States at a total system length of 85 miles. Troubled by a rocky start, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority was faced with the stubborn reluctance of voters to spend any taxpayer money on public transportation infrastructure. However, once the wheels of development started in motion, there was no chance of them stopping. Over the course of 30 years, Dallas went from having the bare minimum of public transportation to having a world-renowned commuter rail system that spans even beyond the boundaries of the city. The economic and spatial impact of the DART rail system is reminiscent of the electric streetcars — save …show more content…
Eventually the scale of the planned rail system was reduced, first to 147 miles and eventually down to 93 miles before the 1988 bond measure vote. , Supporters of the plan believed the expansion of the bus service would alleviate congestion on highways leading to and from the city, and they argued the levying of a sales tax was a necessary consequence of providing rapid and affordable transit to Dallas-area residents and out-of-town visitors alike. Opponents argued that DART services were only expected to carry 3% of people who travel to and from downtown, and they believed the tax would place an unfair burden on those who had no intention of ever using DART transportation. Another major concern of DART’s opponents was that the 162 acres of imminent domain afforded to each individual station would be devastating to homeowners; however, supporters deflected this objection by saying imminent domain allocation would prevent road projects from destroying neighborhoods and lowering property …show more content…
DART Election Campaign Chairman, Philip Montgomery, expressed that he thought more cities would vote to approve DART, and he blamed the unfavorable outcome on the distribution of misinformation by his opponents: “I think we lost some votes because of the last minute tactics by the opposition. […] One of the mailers sent out by opponents [in Duncanville] just a day or two before election had the rail stations circled with a 1,500-foot radius on a map, saying DART would have the power to condemn all this.” While previous drafts of the legislation provided DART stations with large areas of land that could be appropriated under imminent domain, the final version that was voted on did not contain those

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