As Dirk Nowitski continues to rack up baskets for the Dallas Mavericks — eclipsing the 30,000-point mark earlier this week to make him one of the top six scorers in National Basketball Association history — some Fort Worth-area hoops fans are celebrating a small victory of their own.
Specifically, fans who like to ride the Trinity Railway Express to Mavs home games at the American Airlines Center are getting back their popular postgame trains. The so-called game trains, which for years waited on fans for about 20 minutes after the final buzzer at Mavs games, as well as Dallas Stars hockey contests, before returning to Fort Worth, were eliminated in October.
TRE added several late-night trains from Dallas to Fort Worth to replace the game trains, but the new routes ran on a fixed schedule, which meant they stuck to a rigid timetable and didn’t wait for fans after games. As a result, some Mavs and Stars fans found themselves either leaving games early to frantically catch a train ride home, or missing a scheduled train and waiting outside — sometimes for nearly an hour, in less-than-ideal weather — for the next trian to come by.
But now the game trains are back, and fans say they appreciate the gesture.
“A big ‘thank you’ to Trinity Railway Express and DART for listening to your passengers,” Ann Kelley, 81, a Colleyville resident and Mavs season ticket holder, wrote in a letter to the Star-Telegram. “It is great being able to enjoy a Dallas Mavericks game and know that, no matter what time the games end, TRE will be patiently waiting for its riders to board for their ride back to their different locations.”
An average of 7,383 passengers per day take the Trinity Railway Express.
Kelley also credited Dave Brown, American Airlines Center vice president and general manager, for listening to the riders’ complaints and taking action.
TRE, which began operating in 1996, connects downtown Fort Worth to Dallas, with stops in Northeast Tarrant County such as Richland Hills, Bell Station and CentrePort, as well as Dallas-area stations such as Medical/Market Center.
The service carries about 7,400 passengers per day Monday through Saturday, running along the old Rock Island Line that roughly follows the Trinity River between the two cities.
It is great being able to enjoy a Dallas Mavericks game and know that, no matter what time the games end, TRE will be patiently waiting for its riders to board for their ride back to their different locations.
Ann Kelley, Colleyville
TRE is co-owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.
Laura Hanna, spokeswoman for the transportation authority, said the return of the game trains wasn’t necessarily a response to complaints, but rather more of a tweak to the new TRE schedule that began in October.
“After reviewing the schedule, it seemed like a good fit to make this adjustment to better align with Mavericks and Stars games,” she said.
A second commuter rail line connecting the east and west sub-regions of the Metroplex, known as TEX Rail, is scheduled to begin service in late 2018. TEX Rail will begin in downtown Fort Worth and serve the Mercantile area, North Richland Hills, Grapevine and DFW Airport’s Terminal B. There, passengers will be able to connect with DART’s Orange Line and gain access to about 100 miles of light-rail throughout the Dallas area.