Arlington plans express bus stop within entertainment district

Posted Monday, Jul. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ride the MAX More information about the service, including a schedule, maps and how to purchase tickets, can be found online at www.ridethemax.com. You can also receive updates at www.facebook.com/RideTheMax or on Twitter @ArlingtonMAX.

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Arlington’s new commuter bus service begins in less than a month and city officials are already developing a plan to add an additional stop within the entertainment district by November.

Metro ArlingtonXpress, known as MAX, will begin Aug. 19 and will run Monday through Friday between downtown Arlington and the Trinity Railway Express CentrePort/DFW Airport Station for a two-year period.

Besides connecting with the Trinity Railway Express so passengers can catch a train to Dallas, Fort Worth or other destinations, Arlington officials want residents and visitors to be able to come to restaurants, shops and entertainment venues in downtown and in the entertainment district. Riders will also be able to travel to the University of Texas at Arlington and the DFW Airport through the express service.

“There is some excitement building,” said Jim Parajon, Arlington’s Community Development and Planning director. “People are excited about the opportunity to try it out and see how it might work for them.”

Arlington approved a $700,000 annual contract with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to provide limited commuter bus service during the two-year pilot program. The city will pay half of the annual contract while UT Arlington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce have pledged to pay the other half. The additional stop does not affect the contract price, he said.

City officials have not determined the location of the entertainment district stop but Parajon said it would serve major employment centers such as the Lincoln Square Shopping Center and businesses along the Collins Street corridor. The UTA stop will be located at the southwest corner of UTA Boulevard and Center Street, with free surface parking nearby, said Alicia Winkelblech, Arlington’s chief transportation planner. Parking is also free at CentrePort Station.

Fare will be $5 though high school and college students, the elderly and disabled will be able to ride for half price, Winkelblech said.

The city is advertising the service through Facebook, Twitter, a website, posters and billboards that are expected to go up along Interstate 30 and Texas 360 next month, she said.

“We are trying to use social media to the best of our ability to quickly and efficiently get the message out,” Winkelblech said. “We don’t want people to hear about the service once and forget about it. It’s a new opportunity that hasn’t been available.”

Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock

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