DART's new rail line to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Aug. 18.
Photo credit: Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s rail service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will provide the world’s business travelers, conventioneers and tourists with direct access to many of North Texas’ high-profile destinations. It also gives the region an edge in attracting visitors who want to use public transportation, rather than rent a vehicle.
DFW Airport Station, the final segment of the Orange Line, opens Aug. 18.
People who board the train at DFW Airport Station will be able to reach key North Texas destinations accessible from DART Rail, including the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas Arts District, NorthPark Center, Fair Park, American Airlines Center, Irving Convention Center and corporate campuses in Richardson.
“Major global destinations have public transportation to and from the airport,” said Phillip J. Jones, President/CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. “When international visitors arrive at DFW Airport, they expect it.”
Many convention and event planners look for cities with transit options that make it easier for visitors to get around the city – which appeals on economic, environmental and convenience levels.
“The opening of DFW Airport Station puts Dallas and our region in a more competitive position to attract larger conventions and major sporting events,” Jones said.
The numbers back up that claim. According to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association and the U.S. Travel Association, hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to the airport receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail-airport connection.
That figure does not include money spent on retail and restaurants – not to mention the economic activity generated by visitors to venues such as Dallas Market Center, which has its own station on the Orange and Green lines.
“We have approximately 375,000 buyers that come every year from all 50 states and 35 countries,” says Bill Winsor, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “For them to be able to step off the plane and take DART right to our building is a big plus for us. Similar service often has been touted as an advantage for Atlanta, but now we will be operating on the same level.”
Enhancing the transit experience for out-of-towners, DART has made upgrades to the user-friendliness of its system in recent years. Improvements include GPS-based next-train information on variable message boards at each station and GoPass?, a free mobile ticketing app that allows riders to download a paperless ticket right on their smartphones, with no need for exact change. Conveniently, users can store several tickets electronically in the app and activate them as needed, as well as access trip-planning information.