DART Rail Generates $10.27 Billion Near Rail Stations

Staff Report | DFW Newsflash | August 2020

A 2017 study conducted by the Economics Research Group (ERG) at The University of North Texas examining the economic impact of development near DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) stations between 2016-2018 has revealed how lucrative urbanization has been for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.

The ERG analyzed 81 different projects, including the Dallas Streetcar project in Bishop Arts that connects Oak Cliff riders to Union Station in downtown Dallas, and various residential developments. Those projects, initially accounting for about $5.138 billion in property value, generated $10.27 billion in economic gains.

The closer a real estate project is located to a DART rail station, the higher the premium placed on the value of the space. The average rents for both residential and commercial buildings increased 17.9 percent and 25 percent respectively. The Bishop Arts streetcar alone costs just over $200 million and generated an economic impact of over twice the initial development input ($454.7 million).

City developments also turned out to be beneficial for employment numbers. In the two years examined, DFW created over 61,000 construction jobs and the streetcar project alone created over 2,700 jobs.

Dr. Michael Carroll, PhD, noted the projects added billions to DFW’s economy.

“The trend to develop communities and activity centers near rail stations is one that extends across the nation,” Gary Thomas, president and executive director of DART said. Connectivity and increased access to varied travel capabilities is important in growing Metroplexes like DFW.

The DART rail system was built for $5.5 billion and began running in 1996.

The complete study can be found in PDF form on the DART website.