Ghianda Becerril, Staff Writer
On July 28, the long-anticipated University of Dallas DART station officially opened, providing a new, safe and convenient way for UD students to explore the greater Dallas area and giving UD further name recognition in the area.
The UD Station is located on the Orange Line, which runs through the city of Irving to downtown Dallas, allowing the many students that do not have cars on campus to get to know the Dallas-Fort Worth area better.
The newly built station is located north of the university campus and north of Texas State Highway 114. Students can access the station through a pedestrian walkway located northwest of the platform.
With the new pedestrian crosswalks, students can walk safely from campus to the DART station without crossing major roadways, except for a lightly trafficked frontage road. “There is a pedestrian walkway that leads them from campus down to a set of stairs that make their way underground to the station,” said Associate Vice President for Administration, Patrick Daly.
The new Orange Line not only serves as a convenient way for students to explore downtown Dallas, but also provides easy access to both major airports in the DFW area. The Belt Line Station (the station closest to DFW International Airport), to be finished on Dec. 3, will give students the option of leaving their cars on campus when they head home for the break.
Similarly, students without cars will be able to catch their flights without searching for a ride to the airport. Airport shuttles will be provided to and from the Belt Line Station.
The Orange Line connects the DFW Airport (beginning on Dec. 3), Love Field Airport, Southwest Medical Center, Parkland Hospital, American Airlines Center, West End, Downtown Dallas, Northpark Mall, Dallas Zoo and much more.
Many of these stops have already been popular among students, especially those without cars.
“It is such a neat experience,” said senior Alejandra Hernandez. “It gives the students who do not have a car a chance to explore DFW.”
As part of the completion of the University of Dallas DART station, the university is offering a DART Student Transit Pass Program for any full-time undergraduate student. This program gives students the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets of $20 for an entire semester. This pass, available at the Campus Safety Office in Haggar University Center, includes a pass for all DART lines, including bus shuttles.
“The DART is very convenient,” said senior Carolina Garcia. “It is really clean and very safe. If it had been available our freshman year, we would have been more acquainted with Dallas, but it’s good that it is here now.”
In addition to one of the new DART stations being named after the university, UD art professors Lyle Novinski, Kim Owens and Phillip Shore worked on station art placed at three different stations: the University of Dallas Station, Las Colinas Urban Center and Irving Convention Center.
“The design of the University of Dallas Station is an opportunity to celebrate the university and its 50-year history in Irving. We have sought to establish a connection between the stop and the location through the use of simple brick columns, large metal paintings of the four elements, planted dry-stack stone-bordered landscape areas and ivy-planted walls,” said Novinski in the DART art design booklet.
The art-piece panels at the University of Dallas Station convey the four elements as a metaphor for man’s drive to understand the universe, according to Novinski. The panels, mostly designed by O’Neil Ford, one of the leading architects of the American Southwest, serve as a connection between the university and Irving.
“I hope all students take the opportunity that the DART offers and take advantage of the cultural and entertainment opportunities,” said Daly. “Not every party has to be at Old Mill.”