ARLINGTON — The city’s commuter bus service now offers stops in Arlington’s entertainment district as well as late-night runs to and from downtown.The Metro Arlington Xpress bus service, which runs from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, launched Aug. 19 as part of a two-year pilot project to gauge interest in public transportation. But now, in addition to regular stops at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College Park Center and the Trinity Railway Express Centreport/DFW Airport Station, commuters can catch a ride to work, shops, restaurants and even the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington or AT&T Stadium in Arlington’s entertainment district. The new stop, on Andrews Street on both the east and west side of Collins Street and south of the Lincoln Square shopping center, opened Nov. 4.“The goal is to provide more options for people to get where they need to be,” said Lyndsay Mitchell, a principal planner with the city. “People are often surprised to learn how many jobs are in that area. There is also all the shopping with Lincoln Square and Walmart right there. It’s not too terribly far from the stadium or ballpark. There are options there, too.”From downtown Arlington, riders can take the bus to the TRE station, where they can connect to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport or catch a train to Dallas, Fort Worth or other destinations along the rail line.Last week, the buses began running later to accommodate UT Arlington students with evening classes as well as Arlington residents who wanted to get back to the city from their Fort Worth or Dallas destinations, such as the American Airlines Center, later in the day, Mitchell said.Previously, Arlington riders at out-of-town destinations might have had to head back to the train station around 8 p.m. in order to catch the last bus back to the city. Now the last bus leaves the TRE station shortly after 11 p.m. and arrives at downtown Arlington about 11:30 p.m., Mitchell said. “You can stay out later. You don’t have to cut your evening short and rush back,” Mitchell said.The last bus leaves the downtown stop at the southwest corner of UTA Boulevard and Center Street for the TRE station at about 10:44 p.m.About 250 riders use the service each day, according to the city.The pilot program, operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, is expected to cost $1.4 million.The North Central Texas Council of Governments has agreed to reimburse half of the costs. The city, UT Arlington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce combined are paying the other half. This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock