Dallas — McKinney Transit Opening Delayed
Rail Transit Online, May 2002
April 13th was the 13th Anniversary of the
opening of McKinney Avenue Transit Authority and the scheduled opening date for
the 1.25-mile (2 km) extension of the service to
City Place and a connection with DART light rail (see RTOL, Apr. 2002). The
actual beginning of service has now been delayed until May 6th because of
unexpected, weather-related track construction problems. Nevertheless the
celebration, which involved a real circus, arts and crafts exhibits, and a
contest to pick the best birthday cake prepared by local businesses, was held.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting by dignitaries was postponed, however. The track,
like the present two miles (3.2 km) of line, shares its right of way with other
traffic and is laid in cement. The most recent delay was caused by portions of
the dirt base being washed into an unsealed storm drain. The drain had to be
sealed and the dirt replaced before cement could be laid and overhead erected.
Trolleys were brought to the site using a section of completed track. The
extension to the DART station is expected to bring a significant increase in
ridership. MATA currently operates four heritage streetcars, two of which
served in Dallas before all streetcar service was ended in 1954. The other two
came from Porto, Portugal, and Melbourne, Australia. Two additional PCC cars
from Toronto are being rebuilt and the Authority also owns several other former
Dallas cars that will eventually be rebuilt.