Commuters now have a new way to get around North Texas while avoiding gridlock and rising gas prices.
DART extended its light rail service on Monday by opening a new 5-mile “Orange Line” from Dallas to Irving. The new line gives riders a new option to and from Northwest Dallas to the Irving Convention Center, but the new schedule is also causing some confusion.
“You don’t have to worry about the traffic,” said Irving commuter Lilian Camps.
Camps was excited to kick back on the expanded DART Orange Line and let the operator take the wheel on her Monday morning commute. She’s catching the train at the new stop at the Las Colinas Urban Center Station to Dallas.
“I think it’s going to be good for me. I live a couple blocks away. This is going to be really convenient, and it stops right in front of my work,” said Camps.
The new stretch runs from Bachman Station in Northwest Dallas to the University of Dallas, then to the Las Colinas Urban Center and the Irving Convention Center.
“It’s fun to connect the community to the rest of the system,” said DART executive director Gary Thomas. “It’s really changing the way people think about how they get around.”
For some commuters, though, change isn’t always easy.
“I hope this is the right bus,” said one rider. Some frustrated riders discovered with the new rail line, the bus routes have been changed. DART said it will better accommodate connections.
“I missed the bus, so I had to walk down here (to the Urban Center). I should have just waited for the next bus,” said commuter Lisa Coe, who was trying to get from Irving to Dallas.
“It’s a lot different,” said Naomi White. White wasn’t taking any chances, taking a test ride from Dallas to Irving.
“I’m testing out the route to see what the route’s going to be and how smooth the transitions will be,” said White.
This isn’t the end of the line for the route. In December, it expands to the Beltline Station on DFW property, where people can then hop on a bus into the airport.
By the end of 2014, it will connect right to Terminal A.
DART expects as development in the Irving area grows, so will the number of riders.
Commuters don’t have to navigate the new route alone. DART staff will be out at the stops answering commuters’ questions until Aug. 3.