Representatives from Dallas Area Rapid Transit held a community meeting Aug. 30 at Event1013 in downtown Plano to share details of the new Cotton Belt Line, including a proposed timeline for a second light rail station in the downtown area.
DART representatives fielded questions from business owners and residents pertaining to how the new Cotton Belt Station is expected to affect downtown.
The $2 million project was not initially slated to come online until 2035, but increased population growth in the area prompted the transit authority to push up the date to 2022, DART Executive President Greg Thompson said.
DART light rail services began in Plano in 2002 with the introduction of the Red Line in downtown Plano. Plano Chamber of Commerce board Chairwoman Kim Moore and Alex Hargis, director of the Historic Downtown Plano Association, said the 12th Street Station will serve as a catalyst for new growth in the southern portion of downtown Plano.
The Cotton Belt Line will provide connections to DART’s Orange and Green lines, as well as to the soon-to-be-under construction TEX Rail that will extend to Fort Worth from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The 12th Street Station will intersect with downtown Plano’s existing
15th Street Station.
“We cannot be more enthusiastic or in support of the DART program and the Cotton Belt line,” Hargis said. “It’s a well-known fact for downtown that ... this renaissance that you hear about is happening because of DART. Before the DART rail came through … this was a very sleepy neighborhood. But there wasn’t that cultural draw to it.”