GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Light rail service at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport began Monday with the first train officially arriving to link travelers to downtown Dallas.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Orange Line extension, the final nearly 5-mile stretch to reach the airport, opened four months ahead of schedule at the D/FW Airport Station.
The first train arrived shortly before 4 a.m. Monday, airport officials said. The $152 million extension offers service via Terminal A.
“This is a momentous day for our customers and for D/FW Airport, because passenger rail is a critical component to D/FW’s status as a top-tier international gateway,” said Sean Donohue, airport CEO.
The connection should be a major selling point to attract conventions and customers to Dallas, Donohue said.
DART previously relied on a combination of rail service and buses to reach Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which handles nearly 166,000 passengers daily.
“By adding 5 miles of rail to what was already the longest light rail system in North America, DART is connecting Dallas to the world through D/FW Airport,” said Gary Thomas, DART president and executive director.
DART, a regional transit agency, operates the state’s largest municipal rail system, serving Dallas and a dozen other North Texas cities and covering a geographic area of about 700 square miles.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1974. DART was created by voters and funded with a 1-cent local sales tax in 1983.