Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 20

2017 RAIL CONFERENCE

Capital Metro's MetroRail: DART Rail Drives $10.8 B in
Connecting Central Texas North Texas Investments

M

etroRail, operated by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro)
in Austin, TX, is an undeniable success
story, providing more than 4.5 million
rides since its launch in mid-2010.
The rail service regularly operates
at-or, for those who value their personal space, perhaps slightly above-
capacity during peak travel times each
weekday. And, during festivals like
SXSW and Austin City Limits? Forget
about it.
That's great news for the agency.
Even better is that Capital Metro has
begun to implement improvements that
will allow it to double the capacity and
frequency of the service.
In spring 2017, the agency took delivery of four new trains from the manufacturer, Stadler, in Switzerland. The current
MetroRail fleet comprises six trains, with
four or five running at most times and
one or two in reserve or in maintenance.
Over the next year, Capital Metro

will complete double tracking along portions of the 32-mile line. Currently, just
two stations have tracks on either side of
the platforms, allowing northbound and
southbound trains to operate simultaneously. We'll also install signal improvements to ensure that safety remains the
top priority.
In addition to receiving the new
trains, Capital Metro refurbished its
existing train compartments to meet
FRA standards for freight and passenger
service. The agency owns 163 miles
of track in Central Texas and operates
freight service through a contractor and
passenger service on the same track at
different times of day. Capital Metro's
goal is to have the ability in the future
to operate both services throughout the
day to meet the demands of customers,
both passenger and freight.
Currently, MetroRail operates at
roughly 30-minute frequencies and
carries 400 riders an hour. When the rail
improvements are completed in 2018,
Capital Metro will be able to
increase its capacity, and once
the agency's new Downtown
Station opens in a few years,
MetroRail will begin operating
at 15-minute frequencies and
carry 800 riders per hour.
As the public transportation
provider for one of the fastestgrowing regions in the nation,
Capital Metro is committed to
providing true public transit
A Capital MetroRail train providing service to a July 4
alternatives to Central Texans.
fireworks display.

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20 | Passenger Transport

A NEW STUDY looking at the ecoof dollars in economic activity and tens
nomic impact of publicly funded projof thousands of jobs throughout the
ects near the light rail stations of Dallas
region."
Area Rapid Transit (DART) demonstrates
Michael Carroll, who led the team
what economists and private real estate
of researchers, said, "This proves the
developers have seen for nearly two
wisdom of regional leaders in building a
decades: DART Rail is driving the North
regional transit network like DART."
Texas economy.
The DART light rail system, the
Researchers from the Economics
nation's longest, was built at a cost of
Research Group at the University of
$5.5 billion. The most recent extenNorth Texas (UNT) looked at 11 public
sion-at three miles, connecting a
projects, including healthcare facilirenewed Ledbetter Station to the Unities and the Irving Convention Center,
versity of North Texas Dallas campus-
between 1999-2015 and found those
opened Oct. 24.
types of projects are valued at $1.8 bil"Public transportation transforms
lion. When combined with privately
cities," said DART President/Executive
funded TOD, $10.8 billion has been
Director Gary Thomas. "It not only
invested near or along DART's 93-mile
provides connections to great destinalight rail system since 1999.
tions, it can be the catalyst for economic
Previous studies by UNT researchers
growth and community renewal."
looked at TOD projects like MockingFind details at www.dart.org/
bird Station or CityLine and identified
economicdevelopment.
more than $7 billion
in economic impact
from new or planned
construction within
a quarter mile of rail
stations.
Researchers said
the studied projects
"represent not only
the region's commitment to multimodal
transportation options
and an urban landA DART light rail train pulls into the Southwestern Medical District/
scape that reflects the Parkland Station, relocated on the agency's Green and Orange lines.
importance of those
The new $1 billion Parkland Hospital, the region's main public hospital,
options, but billions
was located across the street to be adjacent to the station.


http://www.dart.org/economicdevelopment http://www.dart.org/economicdevelopment http://www.brookvillecorp.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11

Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 1
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 2
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 3
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 4
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 5
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 6
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 7
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 8
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 9
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 10
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 11
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 12
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 13
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 14
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 15
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 16
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 17
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 18
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 19
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 20
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 21
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 22
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 23
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 24
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 25
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 26
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 27
Passenger Transport June 2017 Vol 75 No 11 - 28
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