Runway to Rail: DFW Goes Intermodal

As of this past Monday, you can add Dallas to the list of cities where commuting to and from the airport is as easy as a rapid transit train ride away. Dallas commuters and those looking to make their way from American’s largest hub to destinations throughout the greater Dallas area can save on pricey cab fares and ride the train instead.

DART, or “Dallas Area Rapid Transit,” provides transportation to riders using the system’s new Orange Line extension.  Riders can plan to spend $2.50 to travel on the system for up to two hours or simply purchase an all-day pass for $5.00. The line stops just a few minutes from the Terminal A entry doors, requiring a short hop on the airport’s Skylink system for those using other terminals.  Terminal A is the main terminal at the airport for American Airlines.

The system map, seen at the right, demonstrates the scope of this lengthy light rail system, allowing even those residents in outer suburbs of the metropolis to take a short trip to their local station and save on parking fees and other transportation expenses normally anticipated on a trip out of a major airline hub.

The winding Orange Line connects riders from downtown to the nation’s fourth-largest airport in less than an hour

More than simply providing an option to local commuters, however, DART sees the rail line as a way to bring global prestige to the cities of Dallas and Forth Worth.  Intermodal systems truly have a long list of benefits, including membership in a short list of cities who go the extra mile (pun not intended) to ease commutes to global air transportation hubs.

While Forth Worth still operates independently of the bulk of the DART system, a short commute on “The T,” as it is known by locals (or “Trinity Railway Express” for those of us less-savvy non-Texans) links the Forth Worth area up to the remainder of the transportation network.

Fortunately for both the airport and residents of greater Forth Worth, rail service directly from the airport to the city is expected to begin in the next four or five years.  Until then, ease of access to and from downtown Dallas and DFW will definitely see heads turning around the world. Giddy-up!

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