Reporting Joel Thomas
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A day after it looked like all deals were off, Mayor Robert Cluck says Arlington has reached a deal with DART and Fort Worth’s Transportation Authority to operate buses in Arlington.
The service would be a two-year experiment to run buses from UT Arlington near the city’s downtown up to a rail station just north of the city near DFW airport.
Analysts predicts 500 to 600 people a day could use the buses.
The city, university and the chamber of commerce will pay $700,000 a year for the service.
“Then we’d have to make a choice. If it indeed is a good trial and a good demonstration and we want to go forward with it then we’d have to figure how to pay for it.” says Mayor Cluck. “DART requires a penny sales tax. We’ve only got a quarter left. Obviously we can’t do that. But we think there are other ways to make it work.”
The other problem Arlington has with a long-term commitment to DART is equity. Other cities have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the system.
Arlington would have to pay for their impact on the DART system if they joined.
How does Mayor Cluck feel about a long-term deal with DART?
“I can’t feel. Because I don’t know how people are going to react to it. That’s what its about. Its a demonstration. To demonstrate to them we can do it and how effective it us. And to demonstrate to us they’re going to use it and enjoy it.”
The agreement still has to be approved by Arlington’s city council, since $350,000 a year would have to come from the city’s general fund for its share.
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