Dallas Area Rapid Transit board members on Tuesday approved moving forward with a series of financing options for two major capital projects, including a subway project in downtown Dallas and the suburban Cotton Belt line, which would supply east-west rail connecting downtown Plano to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The projects would be funded through a combination of bonds, federal loans and internal and external revenues, according to agency documents.
The funding for the Cotton Belt line had been a cause for concern among Plano City Council members, who worried publicly that the DART board might not reach a consensus to fund both projects. City staff believe the suburban rail line could be a catalyst for serious economic growth in and around downtown Plano—specifically along the 12th Street corridor.
The financing resolution also anticipates a separate $1.3 billion in funding for the D2 subway. Some Dallas City Council members have been openly skeptical of DART’s ability to finance both projects simultaneously.
“Even if you think [the Cotton Belt line] is a great project, no one who really is a transit advocate would put the Cotton Belt at a higher priority than the D2,” Dallas City Council Member Philip Kingston said in a previous interview with Community Impact Newspaper.
DART board members ultimately approved funding for both projects, 13-2.
Correction: A previous version of this story overstated the estimated cost of the Cotton Belt line project by approximately $200 million. DART officials expect the project to cost $1.1 billion.