Will you use the Oak Cliff streetcar?


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The Dallas to Oak Cliff streetcar carried its first passengers across the Houston Street Viaduct Monday morning.

The streetcar cost some $50 million and comes about nine years after it was dreamed up by the Oak Cliff Transit Authority. This initial line runs just 1.7 miles over the viaduct from Union Station to Methodist hospital.

Extensions have been funded to Bishop Arts and the Dallas convention center. But the initial route has led some to call it “the trolley to El Fenix.” Conveniently, it does stop just outside that Tex-Mex institution. The Colorado stop also is convenient to Spiral Diner, Jonathon’s, VH, Urban Acres and Kessler Park Eating House. And of course, Methodist. Downtown workers can now take the trolley to the doc.

From our side, you could run over and have lunch at CBD Provisions after a little walk. Or hop on a bus to any point of interest downtown.

Unfortunately, the streetcar’s hours currently are limited to Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-7 p.m.

But the Oak Cliff/downtown connection makes our neighborhood bike friendlier, which was the original intention of those early streetcar champions, many of whom also were founders of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff.

Imagine a steamy June day. Riding a bike from, say, Elmwood, over to the bridge and into Downtown is not bad. Mostly downhill. Any path home, however, involves pedaling uphill. Now you can put your bike on the streetcar at Union Station, sit in the air conditioned car over the bridge and up the hill to Colorado at Beckley. By then, you’re above the hard climbing and can roll up Bishop looking fresh and cool.

Yes, there are bus routes that take the same path. But trains are more likely to draw passengers because of their predictability.

Will you use the Oak Cliff streetcar? If so, how?

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  • I constantly use the Oak Cliff Streetcar… every time I discuss examples of government mismanagement of massive amounts of money on projects that were illy conceived and irresponsibly designed with no consideration for the stakeholders! Perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

  • I rode it once just so that I could comment it on it.
    Why is it so bumpy and teeth-rattle vibrating jerky???
    There was actually duct tape on the interior panel seams, apparently to reduce the loud noise of the loose parts inside this 50-million-monster.
    This silly contraption is the most goofy waste of our tax money since the infamous river rapids.

  • no i wont use the street car, it is too slow…….this is a city on the move not a city for tourist, the dirvers are not kind and friendly.

  • At least now homeless people and kids who skip school at Adamson will have something to do.

  • Yes, on those occasions I take the train to Fort Worth, it seems like a great way to get to Union Station. That would be about 3x a year, I reckon.

  • The more I think about it the more hopeless it seems. This thing started as an offshoot of Bike Friendly? Nothing is less friendly to a bike than rails in a roadway. The truncated hours and coverage defies logic. It is quite the talk of the panhandling community as is expands their territory into Kessler Park and eventually Bishop Arts. And we speak about grants as if it’s manna from heaven, it’s your money people!

  • It doesn’t run on weekends?! What!
    Yes, I live right by it. I’ve dealt with all the construction for it for years. Sadly, it’s now current working state hasn’t undone the construction- it’s all still there.

    I was also very excited for it and planning on using it for Downtown trips on the weekends. My 3 year is particularly thrilled to ride the train running right by where he lives. We wanted to take him to ride it this weekend. Riding it could be a regular weekend activity for us- he loves going down to McKinney to ride their train (trolley).
    Without weekend hours I’m not sure I’ll get much use of it. Sad, since I had deal with the construction for so long.

  • I absolutely love the idea of the streetcar, but I can’t see myself using it in its current incarnation. Its range is too limited, and its hours don’t work with my schedule. I’m at work while it’s running, and it stops running too early in the evening to use it for a trip to a restaurant for dinner (I’d probably have to walk back). I’d probably use it most on the weekend, but it doesn’t run at all then.

    I’d love it if one day the streetcar ran all over Oak Cliff like a mini-DART train, with stops all along Davis Street and Jefferson, plus hours that mesh with most people’s schedules (running until 10pm or so, and including weekends). Until then, though, I’m just going to cheer for it when I pass by in my car.

  • 50 million? It will never pay for itself in terms of sales tax revenues generated nor ease traffic or parking issues. It certainly has no visual appeal and in fact resembles a suppository. A constantly circulating trolley running the length of Davis from Beckley to Edgefield would have diminished overcrowding and the need to rear park.
    Smokey Burns

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