By Brian New

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GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM)  – GRAND PRAIRIE – Conveniently located just off of I-30 near Belt Line Road in Grand Prairie, area transportation officials says the new $3-million park-and-ride lot is an ideal location for carpooling.

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The only thing missing is the cars.

The lot has now been opened for more than three months and on most days you won’t find a single car parked in one of the 350 spaces.

“You’re absolutely correct. There are not a lot of cars,” said Walter Shumac, the transportation director for the City of Grand Prairie.

However, Schumac said just wait and see.

Once the managed HOV lanes along I-30, between Dallas and Fort Worth, are finished sometime next year, he believes the lot will be full of vehicles.

Schumac said the city is simple ahead of curve on this project.

“We always get accused of doing things too late but not this time,” he said.

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However, many drivers are not as convinced as Schumac that this was tax dollars well spent.

Tracey Hartgrave drives by the park-and-ride lot every day on her hour and ten minute commute to Addison.

“It doesn’t help me at all,” she explained.

Hartgrave doubts she’ll ever use it.

She said, “It is so hard to carpool in the Metroplex because what are the odds that you work with someone that lives in the same area as you.”

As congestion along I-30 increases, Schumac said he believes attitudes will change.

And when they do, he said, there’s a parking lot waiting for them.

“It’s here. It’s free. It’s ready for you.”

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