The Downtown-to-Oak Cliff Streetcar should start rolling April 13, which is why DART held an open house Thursday to answer questions and offer information about the inaugural line.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. There is no fee to ride the streetcar; it’s free.
2. The line will operate from 5 a.m-7:15 p.m. Monday-Friday.
3. The cars will travel across the 102-year-old Houston Street Viaduct. Since the bridge is a historic structure, the city did not want to run overhead lines along it. So our streetcar will be the first in the United States to use wireless power. The electrical apparatus on the car that connects to the overhead lines will charge a battery system, which will power the cars over the viaduct until they reconnect with the overhead lines on the other side.
4. The streetcars will share lanes with auto traffic.
5. Each car has 34 seats and can fit about 100 people.
6. Each car has two bicycle hooks, similar to how DART trains are outfitted.
7. The trains have horns, bells and whistles, although they’re not literally horns, bells and whistles; the sounds are produced from speakers.
8. Even though a building contractor has not been hired yet, design work has begun on the line’s extension between Methodist hospital and the Bishop Arts District. That line could open sometime in 2016.
9. An extension from Union Station to Dallas City Hall could open as soon as spring of 2017.
10. Extensions to Main Street Garden, the Dallas Arts District and Uptown also are planned.
11. See safety rules below.
Here are 10 basic safety rules:
1. Look both ways and listen for the streetcar.
2. Never walk in front of a moving streetcar.
3. Be cautious of streetcar tracks while riding a bike or skateboard; wheels can get stuck in them. Also, don’t ride in streetcar-only lanes, such as the one of the viaduct.
4. Never grab the back of a streetcar to be pulled along on your bike or skateboard.
5. Only cross the streetcar tracks at a crosswalk when the walk sign is on.
6. Never walk, run or play along the streetcar tracks.
7. Do not try to climb the poles or touch the wires around the streetcar tracks. The wires are electrified.
8. Watch your step getting on and off the streetcar.
9. Never run to catch a moving streetcar. The cars will pick up and let off passengers only at designated stops.
10. Never stop, idle or park your car in the streetcar lane.