A new streetcar line went in to service in Dallas today. The battery-operated streetcar on rails links Union Station in Downtown Dallas with the Oak Cliff neighborhood. Currently the Oak Cliff streetcar only goes as far as Methodist Hospital, but in the future it is promised to terminate at the hip Bishop Arts District neighborhood.
Using the streetcar to go out on the town will be a problem currently, however, as service ends at 7:15 p.m. Service days are also limited to Monday through Friday. This is the first time streetcar service has been available between Oak Cliff and Downtown Dallas since 1965.
The second phase connecting the Bishop Arts District is expected to be completed by early 2016. A third segment could expand the streetcar line to the Convention Center and Omni Dallas Hotel.
Built by Brookville Equipment Corp. in Brookville, Pennsylvania, the cars are the first battery-powered streetcars built in the U.S. They use battery power when crossing the Houston Street Viaduct, but otherwise draw power from overhead wires.
Dallas is also home to the M-Line, which operates historic streetcars between Uptown and Downtown, and has one of the most extensive light-rail systems in the country. An expanded downtown route is expected to be in operation by Memorial Day.