MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – A new shuttle service starting in Mesquite this month could pave the way for a new light rail system east of Dallas.

Beginning March 12, riders will be able to catch a bus from Hanby Stadium near downtown Mesquite to DART’s Lawnview station, seven miles away.  “We’re testing the water for something bigger,” said Assistant City Manager Jerome Dittman.

Dittman predicts, within six months’ time, the busses will service between 200-250 riders a day, proving there’s enough interest to support light rail.  “If we’ve got 200 people a day on a shuttle bus, we ought to easily draw 1,000 people a day on a light rail,” he said.

The city has already mapped out a route and plotted three stations near the Mesquite Rodeo, Hanby Stadium, and the Mesquite airport.

The plan for light rail does have opposition from residents like Barry Walker.  “I think they ran around the backdoor to get this in,” he said.

Back in 1983, voters in Mesquite rejected a proposal to join the DART system and some feel city leaders are ignoring that vote.

Dittman points out it lost by a margin of only 21 votes.  He says if the city considers joining DART or starting a transportation authority of its own, it will hold an election.

The city is offering a free weekly pass for the shuttle for the first 150 people who sign up with them.  You can request your pass by emailing them at

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