GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Light rail service at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport began Monday with the first train officially arriving to link travelers to downtown Dallas.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Orange Line extension, the final nearly 5-mile stretch to reach the airport, opened four months ahead of schedule at the DFW Airport Station.
The first train arrived shortly before 4 a.m. Monday, airport officials said. The $152 million extension offers service via Terminal A.
"This is a momentous day for our customers and for DFW Airport, because passenger rail is a critical component to DFW's status as a top-tier international gateway," said Sean Donohue, airport CEO.
The connection should be a major selling point to attract conventions and customers to Dallas, Donohue said.
DART previously relied on a combination of rail service and buses to reach Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which handles nearly 166,000 passengers daily.
"By adding 5 miles of rail to what was already the longest light rail system in North America, DART is connecting Dallas to the world through DFW Airport," said Gary Thomas, DART president and executive director.
DART, a regional transit agency, operates the state's largest municipal rail system, serving Dallas and a dozen other North Texas cities and covering a geographic area of about 700 square miles.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1974. DART was created by voters and funded with a 1-cent local sales tax in 1983.