The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors has appointed David Leininger interim President/Executive Director, as a nationwide search for a new leader continues. He returns to the agency as it completes the 30% level of preliminary design for the D2 Subway project, proposing a second light rail alignment through the Dallas Central Business District.
Prior to assuming his leadership role on Feb. 1, Leininger will start on Nov. 30 as Deputy Executive Director. Gary Thomas, who led DART for nearly 20 years, recently advised the Board of his retirement. He will support Leininger on a part-time basis as needed, according to DART.
Until 2018, Leininger held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at DART. He joined the agency in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and was promoted in 2012 to Executive Vice President, a role that also charged him with overseeing the Information Technology, Marketing & Communications, Procurement, and Risk Management departments.
Before joining DART, Leininger spent five years serving the city of Irving, Texas—first as CFO and then as Managing Director of Development Services and Economic Initiatives—and 25 years holding a variety of real estate development roles in the private sector.
“David’s experience with the agency and our service area cities, as well as his extensive public service background, makes him a great choice for this position,” Board Chairman Paul N. Wageman said. “During his tenure at DART, David achieved remarkable results and provided significant oversight to many of the agency’s departments and initiatives. The Board is excited to work with him during this transition period.”
D2 Subway Project
In other developments, DART’s D2 Subway, a proposed $1.4 billion capacity improvement project, is advancing. It would add two miles of track (1.3 miles below-grade; 0.7 miles at-grade) and five stations (three below-grade; two at-grade) from Victory Park to Deep Ellum, and serve the Orange and Green light rail lines (see map below). The agency will now prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) plans to issue a combined FEIS and Record of Decision (ROD) to environmentally clear the project, so it can move into the engineering phase, according to DART. The target date for revenue service: 2025.