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RobertB
15 September 2005, 10:19 AM
I was about to delete an old Yahoo Group I created in 2000 to advocate for bringing DART to Grand Prairie. It only had a handful of messages, mostly news articles I reposted. To my surprise, I found that my old dartgp.org site is still available! To check out some news articles, from 10/1999 to 11/2000, visit here:
http://www.dixie-chicks.com/dartgp/

The highlight is a letter I received from DART president Roger Snoble. Unfortunately, neither the site nor the push to bring DART to GP made it very far, I've moved to the middle of nowhere, and I just got done deleting a bunch of "check out my webcam!" messages from the Yahoo Group archive. If anyone would want to revive the mailing list, let me know... otherwise, I'll delete it. But I'll probably keep the old dartgp.org pages at the link above.

Here's the letter from Mr. Snoble:

Dallas Area Rapid Transit
P.O. Box 660163
Dallas, Texas 75266-0163
214/749-3278

October 20, 2000

Mr. Robert Brooks
[address]
Grand Prairie, Texas

Dear Mr. Brooks:

Thank you for your inquiry concerning the accuracy of the October 4, Arlington Morning News article "Two Cities May Unite for Transit". I appreciate your interest in clarifying the information for your website visitors.

Contrary to the information in the article, cities wishing to join Dallas Area Rapid Transit are not required to enter into a "buyback program", in which they would repay transit sales taxes for past years of non-membership. The Texas Transportation Code does not address an "entry fee". The one-percent sales tax would be imposed by the authority on the date of annexation.

In response to your question, "What would be required for Grand Prairie to join DART?", our enabling legislation specifically sets out procedures to expand the service area beyond its current limits. Any jurisdiction interested in joining the authority must
* be geographically contiguous to the existing service area,
* have available the one-percent sales tax to dedicate to transportation, and,
* obtain voter approval to levy the tax through a local option election.

Any jurisdiction interested in joining DART must provide an official expression of interest in the form of resolutions or other formal action. Once this step has been completed, DART will be able to provide planning to the community to develop the necessary transit service plan in order to take to the voters.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact Janie Pena, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs, at [phone # removed].

Sincerely,
[signature]
Roger Snoble
President/Executive Director

RS/ssh

cc Stephanie Sandoval, The Arlington Morning News
DART Board
Sue Bauman

Bruno A.
22 September 2005, 01:54 PM
I didn't know you lived in Grand Prairie Robert !

psukhu
22 September 2005, 03:17 PM
Anybody care to predict the next city to join DART?

gc
22 September 2005, 03:48 PM
^ Arlington

Man of Leisure
22 September 2005, 03:59 PM
^ Arlington


Any jurisdiction interested in joining the authority must
* be geographically contiguous to the existing service area,

^Not trying to be a jerk, but would this still matter?

WestTexan
22 September 2005, 04:12 PM
^Why would it not still matter?

ksig121
22 September 2005, 04:14 PM
^Not trying to be a jerk, but would this still matter?

Doesn't Arlington border Irving?

Man of Leisure
22 September 2005, 04:29 PM
Doesn't Arlington border Irving?

No, but Grand Prairie does...

Man of Leisure
22 September 2005, 04:31 PM
^Why would it not still matter?

http://espn.go.com/i/magazine/new/bracket_jones.jpg

WestTexan
22 September 2005, 04:33 PM
^Joan Rivers??

Man of Leisure
22 September 2005, 04:35 PM
^Joan Rivers??

LOL, the very one.

FoUTASportscaster
02 November 2006, 03:52 AM
Hey RobertB, your site still works. A little outdated, but still online nonetheless.

:bslide: :bhat: :not_ripe: :2pbanana: :Banana09:

ajmstilt
02 November 2006, 10:35 AM
To answer the question I think Duncaville or Lancaster, or Desoto will be the next to join DART (I expect 2 out of the in one fell swoop, and if Duncavilel joins so will Cedar Hill)

Having talked to a few ex mayors and seniors of duncanville (I used to volenteer at the Duncanville Senior Center) They mostly now agree failing to join was a mistake.

The problem is they feel they shoudl be able to join "on the cheap" Since the red line is going to come so near them anywhere.

The rub is if they do have to wait in line (which would be fair) they'll never join, because they want instant gratification. No on in those cities will join to see light rail in 20 years. if they join they'd expect light rail in less than a decade if not under 5 years...

imho

FoUTASportscaster
02 November 2006, 11:06 AM
If Duncanville joins, the Red Line will be extended to their city as part of the 2030 plan.

RobertB
02 November 2006, 11:33 AM
If Duncanville joins, the Red Line will be extended to their city as part of the 2030 plan.
Well, kinda. The 2030 plan doesn't explicitly include anything outside the DART service area in its core recommendations, though it does anticipate future expansion outside the boundaries in the "Vision Element". And each extension is cleverly targeted at a non-DART city -- West Dallas at Grand Prairie, Red Line at Duncanville, Blue Line at Lancaster and Wilmer, and Green Line at Mesquite. Plus, the Cotton Belt line passes through Coppell, a city that jumped ship but may want to consider buying a lifeboat.

I'm still waiting to see how the revised 2030 plan justifies the new priorities established as part of the compromise with the city of Dallas -- there were strong arguments against the West Dallas and SouthPort lines, and for the LBJ line, that have been brushed aside. Mucho discussion of that topic is in the 2030 thread.

FoUTASportscaster
02 November 2006, 11:46 AM
I'm sure that is the plan. What a way to get a bite on joining.

Interested member city political representative: "If we join what can you give us?"

DART: "Well immediate bus service right away, and a rail line in the next phase of expansion, which will be less time than current member citites have since the beginning. However, wait too long and we'll have to wait until next time. Think of the political victories gained when you are the political person to bring rail to the city."

Interested member city political representative: "Wow, that does sound good."

DART: "And if you do it in the next ten minutes, paratransit service at no extra cost."

I can see no other reson for publically declaring that these new rail lines are meant to entice these other cities into joining. It's no secret that DART wants to expand it's boundaries, but to say we are building these other lines to get these cites, and the next phase of expansion kicks off construction around 2020. it is unlikely that Coppell, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Lancaster and Mesquite jump at the same time. So if two do, then that is much in terms of expansion costs, but will mean a nice monetary amount in sales tax. That has to be the plan, to amend thew 2030 plan if new members join.

Also, if Coppell joins, it is just a matter of plopping an extra station down. If Duncanville hops on, it's another 3 miles or so on the Red Line into their downtown area. So that's relatively low cost there. but a huge monetary gain.

Also, Coppell voted out in 89 by 20 votes, when DART was a terribly run agency mired in controversy. It is now one of the best in the area, and I think it is almost a sure thing, if it just comes to a vote.