Are Plans for Downtown Dallas' Subway Still on Track? There Are No Easy Answers

This began with a simple question. The answer is so complicated I almost ditched this column to begin a pastoral life of sheep-herding and mead-making.The question is this: What has become of Dallas' second downtown light-rail alignment? The so-called D2. Our subway. Twelve in years in the making, so far, though I was sure it was much longer. Time is a construct.In recent days I began placing this query to officials at various agencies, among them Dallas City Hall, Dallas Area Rapid and the Texas Department of Transportation only because there have been whispers of late that some city officials, each relatively new to town, want to redo the D2 alignment. Or, at least, tweak it. Except there is no such thing. Because what on paper looks like a simple tweak is in real life a gargantuan undertaking that could re-tangle a rail line thought straightened out years ago. There are other issues, too. Like, top of mind, money. As in, DART doesn't have any federal dollars to sink into the downtown subway, which the transit agency estimates will cost $1.4 billion and is likely to jump by the time construction begins in ... well, let's just say at some point. (Only last year, 2024 was the ride-by date.) DART officials confirmed Monday that DART is likely to finance most of the project -- $1.1 million of it over the long term, with $300 million coming from the feds. The cost to DART could be more. Or it could be less. It all depends on what the federal government does, which is not exactly a phrase that calms frayed nerves these days.  Continue reading...

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