DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) is the public transit authority in the Dallas area. It includes light rail and buses. In 1996, the first light rail network in the southwest of the US was built in Dallas, which is slowly being expanded. In 2009, two light rail lines were in service, the Red Line, which runs north from Dallas to Plano, and more or less US 75 follows. The Blue Line comes from south Dallas through downtown to Garland. Both lines run together from the center to the north. The intention is to open two more lines that will bring the length of the network to 150 kilometers. Extensions are planned to Denton County and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport via Carrollton. The DART system was the only light rail system in Texas until Houston also opened a light rail system in 2004.
The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter line, runs between Dallas and Fort Worth, and a more direct Amtrak rail line runs between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth. About 11,000 travelers use the TRE every day. All light rail and intercity rail lines converge at Union Station in west downtown Dallas. The Texas Eagle Amtrak line runs from Chicago to Los Angeles, calling at Dallas and Fort Worth.
According to topschoolsoflaw, the Heartland Flyer is an Amtrak intercity railroad that runs from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City. Travelers from Dallas will have to travel via Fort Worth. There are no direct trains to Houston, you must take the Texas Eagle to San Antonio and then the Sunset Limited to Houston. This trip takes almost 15 hours and only goes once a day.
There are 120 bus routes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. As in many large American cities, bus transport is relatively extensive compared to rail systems. There are 32 local routes that go to downtown Dallas. There are also 11 express routes that stop almost nowhere and use the HOV lanes on the highways. There are 29 suburban routes and 18 cross-town routes that connect various Dallas neighborhoods and suburbs but do not run downtown. The last row of bus lines are supply routes to the various stations in the region. In 2006, 150,000 people used DART every day, with the majority using the bus.
DART has been criticized for its high cost, with only 36,900 people using public transit to commute to work costing taxpayers $1 billion. The revenues do not cover the costs, and this imbalance is only expected to increase with further expansion of the system. A number of suburbs have tried to exit DART as they paid VAT to finance DART, but received nothing in return in the form of better coverage. Carrollton and Farmers Branch only got their first light rail in 2010 after 30 years of membership. Another problem is the increasing crime at the stations and on the trains.
While congestion in Dallas is certainly not an unknown phenomenon, it is less than in other major US cities with more than 5 million inhabitants. In fact, Dallas-Fort Worth has the least congestion of any city in the world with more than 5 million inhabitants. Dallas has an efficient secondary road network of urban arterials and an extensive network of freeways. However, the strong population growth of 100,000 to 150,000 inhabitants per year requires a continuous expansion of the highway network.
In contrast to Houston, Dallas has fewer frontage roads with the associated activity directly along the highway. This leads to more traffic jams than in cities with parallel roads. However, the highways and their surroundings are more aesthetically pleasing than the concrete masses of Houston and San Antonio.
Because the majority of commuter traffic takes place within the urban area, the roads outside it quickly narrow to 2×2 lanes. This does not lead to large-scale congestion, although I-35 can be busy. A well-known but fairly unique phenomenon is the fact that in areas where new suburbs are developing, the frontage roads have already been built, but the highway in the central reservation is still missing due to lack of necessity. Due to this space reservation, there are fewer procedural problems when construction is necessary at a later date.
In a number of places, the highways cross water reservoirs that are scattered throughout the Metroplex. This is where traffic concentrates, which can lead to extra crowds. The largest intersection of highways is located around the center of Dallas, but due to the well-developed OWN and available capacity, delays are usually not that bad. As more and more suburbs are developed in the far north of the conurbation, long-distance commuter traffic is increasing, and it is also expected that traffic jams will extend to the more distant suburbs.