Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DART to Receive $62 Million in Stimulus Funds

Dallas Area Rapid Transit stands to receive approximately $62 million in stimulus funds from President Barack Obama’s recently signed economic stimulus package, a spokesman for the transportation company said Tuesday.

DART did not find out about the money until late last week and soon learned the public transportation platform is up for $61.5 million in formula funds and an additional $300,000 in rail modernization money, according to Mark Ball, a DART media representative.

Ball said news of the funding came too late for DART to add the funds to the agenda of a board meeting scheduled for Tuesday. He said at this point, DART is trying to figure out how the money can and will be spent. With that question still up in the air, Ball said DART has yet to determine how the additional funds will be allocated.

Ball said DART received a general figure last week, indicating that DART would benefit by receiving 70 percent of an $80 million transit stimulus slated for the area. “What does that mean?” he said. “We are trying to figure that out. Can we use it to buy new trains, can we use it for maintenance?”

Ball said DART will know more after it has time to sift through all the details and requirements.