Dallas Area Rapid Transit General Planning Consultant

Dallas Streetcar stop

Dallas Area Rapid Transit General Planning Consultant

Flexible, Wide-Ranging Planning Services for a Major Transit Agency

Dallas Area Rapid Transit is responsible for public transportation in the fourth-largest and fastest-growing metro area in the United States, with an extensive multi-modal network that includes the longest light rail system in the United States. HDR serves as the agency’s general planning consultant, working hand-in-hand with agency staff to provide a broad range of planning services. Our team serves as an extension of DART staff, allowing us to put our “listen first” culture into action and truly focus on the agency’s needs when addressing near-term needs and developing long-range plans.

Wide-Ranging Services Allow Flexibility

We provide the resources of HDR’s international expertise to the agency to confidently handle any planning issues that come up, from the major to the obscure. Our work runs the gamut of transit modes — including bus, commuter rail, light rail and streetcar — and a full range of planning services — environmental, preliminary engineering, ridership modeling, sustainability planning and more. Projects have ranged from $100,000 of construction cost to $2 billion, more than 70 task orders altogether. The contract draws upon work from HDR employees around the globe, overseen by project leaders in Dallas.

Bus with downtown dallas skyline

Shaping DART’s Future Mobility and Sustainability Program

Transit is a key part of the transportation network in the north Central Texas, and a driver of equity and opportunity in the community.

As part of DART’s long-range planning efforts, our team assisted with the creation of the agency’s 2045 Transit System Plan. This plan provides a guide for how to leverage the investment made in DART infrastructure through enhanced collaboration, customer-focused programs, and transit-oriented development, while not losing sight of system modernization needs. The plan includes new and innovative approaches to enhance mobility and incorporates the new DART bus network, which launched on January 24, 2022.

HDR also assisted DART with updates to their sustainability plan, including the creation of their first Climate Action Plan. This work lays the foundation for moving to higher recognition levels from the American Public Transportation Association, and more importantly for achieving meaningful changes that will continue to benefit the community, agency and planet.

Bringing a Decades-Old Plan to Life

Among our general planning consultant work, HDR helped move forward a key transit offering that will connect the northern part of the DART service area, from Dallas Fort Worth airport through seven cities to Plano. The Silver Line (formerly Cotton Belt Regional Rail) has been in the works for three decades. Our team’s environmental work, including a robust public engagement process, helped push the project forward.

Map of DART's planned Silver Line
Route of the planned Silver Line (in dashed line) from DFW to Plano.

HDR was responsible for providing 10% preliminary engineering and environmental services for the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Corridor. Our team developed the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement documents in accordance with local, state, federal and National Environmental Policy Act requirements. We led significant public involvement efforts with highly engaged local community using innovative messaging techniques addressing concerns of environmental impacts, construction impacts and operational safety concerns.

HDR also assisted DART staff in preparation of cost estimates and supporting documents for the execution of the $908 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau for financing the project.

The contract was renewed in late 2020, so DART’s partnership will continue at least another three years.

Dallas Streetcar stop