Dallas Area Rapid Transit (or DART) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority were among six projects nationwide to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the Urban Circulator Program.

Streetcars making a comeback? Many say yes, including the FTA, which funded streetcar programs in Dallas and Fort Worth. Shown, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s M-Line streetcar. Photo: DART.
Photo: DART
Streetcars making a comeback? Many say yes, including the FTA, which funded streetcar programs in Dallas and Fort Worth. Shown, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s M-Line streetcar.
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DART is scheduled to receive $4.9 million to create a connection between Uptown and downtown Dallas for its streetcar program.

The DART grant will be matched with $5 million from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

The Fort Worth Streetcar Loop received almost $25 million to build a 2.5-mi, one-way streetcar loop to connect the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail station and Intermodal Transportation Center with the central business district.

The federal grant requires matching funds. Fort Worth anticipates using three vehicles connecting residents in four economically disadvantaged areas to job opportunities in employment centers as well as promoting the redevelopment of urban neighborhoods.

The grants are two of 53 proposals totaling nearly $300 million in federal funding for both the Urban Circulator Program and the Bus and Bus Livability Program. Projects were selected from 281 applicants totaling more than $2 billion in funding requests.

“The support of the Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration is critical,” DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas tells Texas Construction. “The project is a rail track loop, just under .75 mi long, connecting the M-line Olive Street extension to the current M-line track on St. Paul Street. It will provide a direct connection to DART’s St. Paul Station and improve connections to popular cultural destinations.”

The M-line’s heritage vehicle fleet will still be used. Ultimately the line will connect with the Downtown Dallas streetcar project and be built to accommodate a modern streetcar.

The DART and Fort Worth programs are among six new streetcar an rapid transit projects funded by the Urban Circulator Program. Streetcars are making a comeback because cities across America are recognizing that they can restore economic development downtown–giving citizens the choice to move between home, shopping and entertainment without ever looking for a parking space, says FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These streetcar and [city] bus livability projects will not only create construction jobs now, they will aid our [economic] recovery by creating communities with the potential to be more prosperous and less congested.”