Plan ahead, come early to get to Mavs victory celebration parade

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 15 at 4:04 PM

DALLAS - Mavericks fans looking to be part of all the action along the victory parade Thursday may want to plan ahead.

Dallas city officials say getting downtown will be tricky with 250,000 fans all arriving to begin lining up along the route at 7 a.m. while downtown workers are also trying to get to work.

If you plan to drive in, the City of Dallas has about 50,000 public parking spaces, which includes street parking, surface lots and parking garages.

Some private garages, like the Renaissance Tower, also plan to be open to the public Thursday.

City officials say, on average, daily parking in downtown Dallas costs between $5 and $21 a day. They're quite certain those prices will be inflated come the day of the parade.

For those who would prefer to leave the driving to someone else, consider DART Light Rail and buses. DART officials expect the Red and Blue lines will be crowded already due to heavy usage from daily commuters. Mavericks fans, they say, may find themselves waiting on trains and parking spaces.

However, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, DART will have shuttle buses stationed at its busiest stops on the Red Line to shuttle people downtown to the West End.

DART is encouraging fans who live north or south of Dallas to consider the Green Line. It's DART's newest line, so DART says there's more space to park and more room aboard the trains.

After the event is over, DART will have 60 buses stationed downtown to shuttle people back to their trains.

After 9 a.m., 35 buses will be at Victory Plaza and 25 more in the West End to shuttle people to one of four downtown stops, including Union Station, Akard, the Convention Center or the West End.

The TRE is also upping its capacity between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. by adding more cars to its trains. The schedule will remain the same.

In all, 250,000 fans are expected to be on hand for the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. in front of Dallas City Hall. City officials say every year, 400,000 people attend the Children's Parade in downtown Dallas, but this is the first time Dallas will be hosting so many visitors at one time in a work day.

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