While full service will start on Monday, Saturday was the first day that the public could ride the DART Green Line train. There are four brand new stations, and each one had some sort of party around the station.
Despite the rain, the trains were packed!
I started at the Baylor stop in Deep Ellum and ran into a few friends at the It's a Grind coffee shop. They had a great band, free cookies from Kessler Cookie Company and other fun stuff. I then hopped on the train and rode to the south end of the line, which is the MLK station.
The Martin Luther King Jr. station is a jewel in itself. There is a lot of history that is detailed in the various art features. Pictures from famed Dallas photographer R.C. Hickman are featured at the train stop.
The Fair Park station stops right in from of the gate on the Expo Park side.
Then the train moves to Baylor station (in Deep Ellum) where lucky residents of the Ambrose live right at the train stop and onto the Deep Ellum station on Good Latimer where we got a close up of The Traveling Man statue.
The current line will run from the MLK Transit Center to Victory Park, while connecting to the Red and Blue lines at all of the current downtown stops. The rest of the green line stations will be open in December 2010, with the line stretching from Pleasant Grove to Carrollton.
As some have said, access to jobs is an important byproduct of the green line. In a little more than a year people that live in Pleasant Grove, Parkdale, and most of South Dallas will have direct access to jobs from Love Field and to Carrollton. While there may be bus service to some of these locations, it's intermittent and it's a totally different proposition to ride on the train. In terms of time and ease of travel this rail line will put a lot of jobs in reach.
In addition, as events are hosted in Fair Park and downtown the train will ease some of the car traffic that is generated when people are traveling to these destinations. As I rode the train you could feel the excitement and there was a lot of conversation amongst the passengers about the benefits of having the green line. Once the State Fair hits, it will be a great way to showcase the progress of our city.
I heard that Victory Station will have a party this coming Saturday. Bring it on!
Video of my trip is below.
Background music: "Car of Love" by Main Ingredient