As reported in December, 2016, the Dallas city council voted unanimously on a resolution that did not include the Cotton Belt line as one of its transit priorities. Then, it named Patrick Kennedy to the DART board. Kennedy is opposed to converting the Cotton Belt line to passenger service from Richardson to the DFW Airport. I concluded with, "Richardson is going to have a fight on its hands to get that Cotton Belt line developed." Developments since then have only gotten worse. It's not just the Cotton Belt line at risk, but the whole DART system.
Wick Allison, publisher of D Magazine used the election results to declare an "Agenda for a New Dallas". DART isn't part of it.
The Dallas runoff election could mark the beginning of the end for DART, not just the Cotton Belt line that would benefit Richardson enormously, but the whole DART network. More likely, it won't play out that badly. The new Dallas City Council will appoint new members to the DART board. Dallas by itself has a majority on the board. So, it's likely the new DART board will vote to kill the Cotton Belt. The current DART board appears to understand that, as they are considering a special board meeting June 20 on the issuing of debt needed to build the Cotton Belt line. The meeting would take place before the new Dallas DART members would be seated. After that, expect the new majority will make sure that DART's budget sends more money to projects that benefit Dallas vs the suburbs. If they get all that, there's no reason to kill DART itself. That wouldn't be in Dallas's interest. That would be stupid. And we are confident that the Dallas City Council would never do anything stupid, right?So far the $5 billion Dallas has spent has produced a minimal — some would say invisible — return on investment. Dallas should say, Thanks but no thanks.
Dallas has an alternative. The suburbs can keep the rail. We could give it to them. Dallas can keep its $260 million a year to invest in multi-modal systems that actually spur urban development, fatten the city’s wallet, and get its citizens — especially those living in the southern sector — to work.
Source: Wick Allison.
In any case, the new Dallas City Council looks to be on the verge of adopting a beggar-thy-neighbor strategy. June 10, 2017, could be remembered as the beginning of the end for DART.