Dallas — Downtown Extension Delayed
The downtown Dallas debut of the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority [MATA] extension route has been delayed again and is now scheduled to open to public service in December, the Dallas Morning News reports. The extension will add one mile to the existing 2.8-mile route. The extension is expected to cost less than its $9.9 million budget.
The initial schedule had called for operation in Spring 2013, which later was pushed back to October 2014. This target has now been revised to December.
Track construction was delayed by slow delivery schedules for track switches. And now delays in relocating utilities has slowed progress in laying track and stringing overhead wire.
The new route will extend MATA service to the central business district, providing a direct downtown connection for many residents of new towers along the line in Uptown. The route will also complete a loop through downtown eliminating the single track section currently used. This loop will also allow use of single end cars for the first time.
The delays have allowed MATA to work on expanding their fleet. A double-truck double-end restoration of a Dallas Peter Witt car has already entered the fleet. Now a single end Brussels car is expected to be complete by year end.
Despite the delays, the extension is expected to cost elss than the original $9.9 million budget.
A federal grant provided $4.9 million, and the North Texas Council of Governments matched it with a $5 million grant from the Regional Tollroad Revenue fund. Any unused funds with the approval of the Regional Transportation Council would support other Dallas streetcar projects.