Friday, May 02, 2014

Oak Cliff voices: Don't short streetcar hours

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Oak Cliff voices: Don't short streetcar hours Brookville Equipment Corp.

Objecting to initial proposals, residents and businesses of Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood are calling for officials to reconsider suggested streetcar schedules limiting service essentially to daylight hours – and no weekends.

Initial plans call for service Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., using a fleet of four Brookville Equipment Corp. dual-powered Liberty streetcars. Service is scheduled to begin in 2015, linking Dallas Union Station with Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

 Dallas city officials note a lack of operations funding is the cause for the modest service window. But residents note the neighborhood's active arts scene, much of it active at night, makes such an arrangement counterproductive.

One Dallas city councilmember, Scott Griggs, told local media, "To make [service] work, you need evening service and weekend service, and we want that on Day One." Griggs believes the issue can be resolved, saying, "I think there's going to be the will — not only with me, but my other colleagues."

The streetcar plan has been politically driven by grassroots Oak Cliff neighborhood organizations, as well as the Oak Cliffs Chamber of Commerce, with DART providing assistance. DART will operate and maintain the streetcar line.