ROWLETT — The railroad crossing bell sounds like progress to residents of Rowlett. DART's Blue Line now extends 4.5 miles beyond downtown Garland to downtown Rowlett.
Terry Dillard was at the platform Sunday night, eagerly mapping out his new morning commute.
"It's going to help me get to work stress-free," he said.
The Rowlett resident used to drive to the DART station in downtown Garland, but starting Monday he will ride his bike to the new Rowlett station, hop on a train to work, and leave his car parked at home.
"Easier to get around town. Easy to go downtown. Easy to go all over the city," Dillard said.
Yuan Campbell is taking advantage of the new line extension, too.
"My husband and I rode the Blue Line all the way to the Arts District," she said.
That was Saturday's excursion, one she thought unlikely to happen without the ease of the Blue Line. Sunday's outing was a visit to The Shops at Park Lane.
"I've waited for this for a long time," said Rowlett resident Glenn Hargrove. Eleven years of traffic on Interstate 30 and driving to work in Las Colinas has come to an end for Hargrove.
"I'm going to spend less than a tank of gas for a monthly pass," he said.
Hargrove also believes now is a great time to live in Rowlett. "I think it'll enhance property values. That, and with [Highway] 190 coming out, we're pretty accessible now," he said.
Also on Monday, DART will extend its Orange Line to two new stations in Irving at North Lake College and Belt Line Road.
The Orange Line's eventual destination is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, but that station is not scheduled to open for another two years. Until then, a new bus route from Belt Line Station will shuttle passengers to Terminal A.