Remarks As Prepared for Delivery; Actual Presentations May Differ
Congratulations on the grand opening of the DART Green Line extension.
It’s great to be here to witness first-hand the transformation that’s now under way across Dallas.
Obviously, this city and its suburbs were designed to accommodate the automobile. The car has been king here for nearly a century.
And yet today, Dallas is fast becoming one of the most transit-oriented major cities in America.
And while cars and pick-up trucks will always be a way of life here, there’s no question that adding more transit makes life better for millions of residents.
More transit makes it possible for commuters to spend less time stuck in traffic on the freeway, and more time with their families at home.
More transit makes it easier for families on a budget, and young people just starting out, to go looking for work without a car—and when they land jobs, they know there’s a guaranteed ride available to get them there and back.
And more transit means more jobs and economic opportunity for Dallas.
Expanding this light rail line to the northwest and southeast of the central business district opens the door to new commercial and residential development in abandoned freight corridors and other under-used parcels that are ripe for public and private investments.
In fact, the DART Rail System estimates it’s responsible for roughly $7 billion in current, planned and projected transit-oriented development.
The Green Line expansion alone includes major projects such as Ambrose at Baylor University Medical Center Station and Cityville at Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station.
And the city has wisely established development zones to spur new commercial activity near the brand new Carrollton and Farmers Branch stations.
We’re confident this is just the beginning—and it’s a sure sign that Dallas’ investment in public transportation today will pay dividends for decades to come, as businesses, entrepreneurs, and residents take advantage of the access transit provides.
As the DART website proclaims, “The Green Line changes everything.”
FTA is tremendously proud to be your partner in this project.
Four years ago, we delivered $700 million dollars to help DART break ground on this light rail expansion.
Last year, as part of this package, we accelerated the delivery of over $78 million to help move this project toward completion as quickly as possible, thanks to a boost from the Recovery Act.
And it’s good to see that DART has really delivered—completing the work on time and under budget.
I want to thank all the elected officials, business leaders, and transit advocates here today for helping to make this project such a success—and for keeping public transportation growing along with Dallas itself.
We continue to believe the federal government has an important role to play in making resources available so that major metropolitan regions like Dallas can provide safe, clean, reliable transportation options.
That’s why, in addition to our substantial commitment to light rail here, we’ve also recently provided $5 million dollars to enable DART to put new clean-fuel buses on city streets and bring its vehicles into a state of good repair.
And it’s why DOT has invested millions of dollars not only to repair and improve area roadways, but also to build three new bicycle and pedestrian paths in and around Dallas, so families can get out of their cars and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and parklands that help make this city so livable.
In closing, you can be sure that FTA and the DOT will work closely with President Obama and the leadership in Congress to address our transportation challenges in a bipartisan way—so we may continue to invest, and re-invest, in the transportation systems our country needs to move forward and compete with the rest of the world.