Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
The new Orange Line of the DART light rail service through Irving is set to open on Monday.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and other dignitaries boarded the long-anticipated Dallas Area Rapid Transit Orange Line for the extension's inaugural ride.
The station was buzzing as the first-time Orange Line riders boarded the train to go to Las Colinas.
"This is a very big step," Van Duyne said. "The city of Irving has belonged to the DART system since day one. We have invested a tremendous amount of money in it, and today it's finally paying off."
DART officials predict that after one year, about 2,000 people will be taking the new route every day.
"One of the unique things about Irving is, it's projected to create 360,000 jobs, which is probably more than we can house. And so we need to be able to bring people into our work centers, and mass transit will facilitate that," said John Danish, DART Board of Directors chairman.
The Orange Line made stops at the University of Dallas Station and the Las Colinas Urban Center Station before arriving at the Irving Convention Center. A student band and cheerleaders greeted the travelers as they got off the train.
The celebration continued at a reception and luncheon inside the Irving Convention Center. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison attended the event to show her support for Irving's development.
"Las Colinas is just going to be a business center that people are going to want to move their headquarters to," she said.
Service to Irving's three stations begins on Monday.