DART approves budget with rail service trims, bus route changes, job cuts
07:19 AM CDT on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
firstname.lastname@example.org DART board members overwhelmingly approved a 2011 budget Tuesday night that includes bus route changes and less frequent light-rail stops.
Nearly 150 jobs will be cut, with some open positions axed and others eliminated through attrition under the $1.26 billion budget.
For customers, the biggest change will begin in December. Dallas Area Rapid Transit trains will run every 15 minutes instead of every 10 during peak periods.
The Trinity Railway Express will have two fewer daily trips on weekdays and four fewer on Saturdays.
Board members also approved a 20-year financial plan that most notably includes completing construction of the Orange Line from Irving to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport by 2014, rather than 2013 as previously planned.
DART also plans to extend the Blue Line south near the University of North Texas at Dallas campus in southeast Oak Cliff by 2019.
But many of the commitments in the 20-year plan will be possible only if the economy recovers as well as DART’s economists predict.
Funding other than sales tax receipts would come from new sources, such as charging for parking at DART light-rail stations and potential tolling of carpool lanes.
Construction of a second downtown Dallas rail line is off the table. But DART officials say they will continue to work with city leaders to coordinate any streetcar plans with a potential second downtown rail line in mind.
AT A GLANCE
•Total budget: $1.26 billion
•Operating budget: $422 million
•Debt service: $127 million
•Total capital and other: $707.1 million
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