Guest Post by Austin Rucker, a Realtor with Dallas-based Von Buren and Associates
Back in 1904, the city of Dallas had about 72 miles of electric streetcar lines worth around 32 million dollars. In today’s dollars, that is $804 million or $11 million per mile of track. In fact, the first streetcar opened in spring of 1873 from the courthouse down Main Street to the Houston & Texas Central Railway Station. In 1940, the fare was seven cents.
McKinney Avenue is named for Collin McKinney, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and the man credited with suggesting that all Texas counties be made 30 mile square, so you could travel to the county seat and get back home all in one day. McKinney Avenue was the road that was used to get to the town of McKinney. The streetcars are the first modern transit option the city ever had. Rail has left it’s mark in Dallas: Pacific Avenue is named for the eponymous company whose rail ran through our downtown.
The current MATA (McKinney Avenue Transit Authority) line was put together using only $28 million from TxDOT, and soon will have one of the original streetcars from the original line that was sold to GE and Goodyear. The line was disbanded in 1956 to make room for a bus route that never happened.
Tourists visiting Dallas love our trolleys. (more…)