DART Offers a Look into the Future with a Streetcar in Downtown

DART is developing a plan to create downtown streetcar routes that would complement its larger light-rail system, so earlier this month it demonstrated a new energy-efficient streetcar.

The ameriTRAM prototype shuttled DART and city leaders back and forth from the Akard and Victory stations while they heard the benefits of a new streetcar.

Officials say the vehicle would save on installation costs because it can operate without overhead cables. The streetcar runs on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and can travel about five miles before recharging for six to eight minutes. The ameriTRAM also recycles energy by channeling braking energy back into the battery.

DART is working as a technical advisor with the City of Dallas on a number of streetcar projects, including the planned connection to Oak Cliff, a connection with the McKinney Avenue Trolley and a future downtown streetcar network.

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