Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has launched light-rail passenger service connecting downtown Dallas to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, following completion of a new segment of DART rail track to the airport’s station.
DART Orange Line trains began running to DFW Airport Station on August 18. The first train arrived at the airport station at 3:50 a.m. that morning.
Its arrival represented the culmination of six years of partnership, planning and construction between DART and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (IATA code DFW) to make the service a reality, according to the two organizations.
“This is a momentous day for our customers and for DFW Airport, because passenger rail is a critical component to DFW’s status as a top-tier international gateway,” says Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport.
“With the DART Orange Line connecting DFW to downtown Dallas, DFW is now on a par with global hub airports that have integrated rail, which is a major selling point for customers and conventions,” adds Donohue.
“By adding five miles of rail to what was already the longest light-rail system in North America, DART is connecting Dallas to the world through DFW Airport,” says Gary Thomas, president/executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
“We’re proud to link the world’s third-busiest airport and its 61 million passengers to our light rail system, which offers convenient and economical public transit to Dallas and the 12 additional cities in the DART Service Area,” says Thomas.
The new five-mile segment of DART track which opened on August 18 links DFW Airport to DART’s Belt Line Station. From there, DART continuing service is available to major regional destinations including Irving-Las Colinas, Dallas Market Center and downtown Dallas.
DFW becomes the third-busiest American airport with a direct rail connection to the city center. The two busiest airports with rail links are, respectively, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, which is still the world’s busiest airport for passenger throughput and for aircraft movements); and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
DART’s DFW Airport Station is located less than a three-minute walk to the entry doors and ticketing hall for DFW Terminal A.
The walkway between the terminal and the DART station features landscaping and partial cover to protect customers from the elements.
High-speed, high-capacity elevators will deliver passengers to the Terminal A ticketing hall on the concourse level.
Once inside Terminal A, customers can easily reach American Airlines’ ticketing and baggage check facilities, TSA security checkpoints and DFW’s Skylink automated light-rail system (access to which is inside the secure area beyond the security checkpoint) to connect to any of DFW’s five terminals.
Customers of other airlines with carry-on baggage can use a multi-airline kiosk in the elevator vestibule at Terminal A to check in for their flights. Passengers with baggage to check on other airlines can use DFW’s Terminal Link shuttle buses for easy transfers to their desired terminals.
DFW Airport is one of the Dallas-Forth Worth region’s major employment centers. According to DART and DFW Airport, the rail connection will provide a convenient and cost-effective way for the nearly 60,000 people who work at DFW to commute to and from their jobs.
The first Orange Line train departing from downtown Dallas arrives at DFW Airport Station at 3:50 a.m. The last train departs the DFW Airport station at 1:12 a.m. on weekdays, and 12:12 a.m. on weekends.