DART's Dash to DFW

Dallas Area Rapid Transit executive director Gary Thomas briefs potential bidders for a design-build contract on DART's Orange and Blue lines on Feb. 11, 2008. DART's request for proposals on its first design-build project came as construction costs were still soaring, along with oil prices. By the end of the year, the financial markets would be in freefall. Image: DART

Related Story: Against Long Odds, Dallas Rail Early to the Airport

Construction crews pour concrete at the DART Orange Line Station at North Lake as the $1.4 billion project gains momentum. Despite financial upheaval after the Great Recession, DART managed to find funding to accelerate the project, doing a $6 billion rewrite of its 20-year financial plan. Image: DART

David Leininger took the job of DART's chief financial officer in the momentous year of 2008 after managing finances for the city of Irving. As CFO for Irving and DART, Leininger would see financing of the Orange Line project from two perspectives. At DART, Leininger would oversee dramatic adjustments to bring the project to fruition. Image: DART

DART's "Lost Decade" ended with 2010 revenues at the same level as those of 2000 after two recessions. The falling revenues resulted in two rating downgrades. Image: DART

Texas Stadium was the home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 2010 when the team moved to Arlington. With the stadium site vacant, Irving committed to economic development using DART's Orange Line as a catalyst. Image: DFW Freeways

After years of anxiety about the fate of the Orange Line through Irving, DART celebrated the opening of the first station there in July 2012. After losing the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, the city of Irving bet its future on transit-oriented development around light rail. Image: DART

The bond-financed Irving Convention Center opened in 2011 as the nearby DART Orange Line was under construction. Although the DART line is a key component for the convention center, efforts to promote related development have proven troublesome. Private financing for a $90 million convention center hotel fell through this month. Image: DART

DART's Irving Convention Center Station along Texas 114 opened in December 2012 amid apartment construction in the area. Irving is seeking to promote development of the Las Colinas area, which has not seen any new office construction in the last two decades. Image: DART

The Las Colinas Urban Center Station serves the business park near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The DART connection is expected to make airport connections easier and to enlarge the employment pool for 60,000 jobs at DFW. Image: DART

Construction crews work on the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Station at Terminal A. The DART Orange Line provides DFW's first light-rail connection to Dallas and its suburbs. Image: DART

Aerial photo shows DART's station at DFW's Terminal A. The airport contributed $36 million for the station as part of its $2.3 billion remodeling of its four original terminals. Image: DART

A DART train arrives at the new DFW Station in a trial run before the opening of the third and final link of the Orange Line. Completion of the project, expected in December 2013 came four months ahead of schedule and under budget. Image: DART

DART executive director Gary Thomas (red tie, center) talks to media at the Orange Line's DFW Station in July. Thomas called the construction of the station with DFW a "true collaboration." The Orange Line opened for service Aug. 18. Image: DART

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