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DART open for business: Long-awaited rail service begins
The city of Rowlett has waited what seemed forever to a lot of residents for the DART rail to come to the city. The residents have been paying into the DART system for the last 40 years to receive the service.
“The rail line finally opening means a lot to the city,” said Todd Gottel, mayor. “When we think about DART we think about the significance of what it means for the city. I look at the water tower downtown and I realize that was a piece of history. It is something the folks of this city built and it served as the first water pressure system in the city. The other day when I was looking at it I heard the bells for the train in the background and I realized that the rail station opening was another piece of history that will change the city. In a way it was the old meeting the new.”
Gottel said the opening of the rail station and the President George Bush Turnpike all within a 13 month window has transformed the city by providing better accessibility.
“The opening of these two projects has really put us on the map,” Gottel said. “We have always been somewhere on the map it’s just that we didn’t have access before and now we do.”
He said that the accessibility allows the city to be a target for some of the growth that is expected to happen in the region over the next 15 years. Gottel said that there is a need for more ways for people to be able to travel between their residence and their destination and the addition of a major freeway and a rail line makes Rowlett ideal for commuters.
“To be able to catch mass transportation to work is huge,” Gottel said. “It really is a money saver for most people.”
Gottel said that the city hopes the area around the rail station will develop based on the vision that the city set up through its Realize Rowlett 2020 plan.
“In order for the property to develop people have to be realistic about their property value. A lot of landowners are holding out hoping for more money,” Gottel said. “We did a lot of work through the Realize Rowlett 2020 process to ensure we are headed in the right direction.”