Pete Buttigieg, the US Transportation Secretary announced that the US Department Of Tranport’s Build America Bureau has provided a US$908 million loan for the Silver Line Regional Rail Project in Texas under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. This is the first Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan to close under the Biden Administration. The loan is a refinancing of the RRIF loan provided to DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) for the same project by the Bureau in December 2018. This transaction is estimated to save DART approximately US$190 million in interest costs according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Texas Silver Line rail loan proceeds will finance part of the construction costs of the project, which is a 26-mile double-track commuter rail alignment extending from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport eastward to Shiloh Road in Plano, Texas. The Silver Line rail will connect with three existing DART transit lines, contain 10 stations, and cross through three counties and seven cities. Since the current loan closed in December 2018, DART has made significant progress on project design and construction. All key project contracts have been awarded, the project design has significantly progressed, and construction is on track and on budget. The savings from the new loan will address a funding gap for other projects in the future.
“The Department’s assistance helps DART deliver this ambitious project which will extend service across the DART service area from the eastern edge across the northern suburbs and includes several infrastructure additions such as hike and bike trails, separated grade improvements, and full double-tracking across the entire segment,” David Leininger, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of DART, said. “The ten platforms will also stimulate transit-oriented development across a broad swath of the region. Reducing interest costs on the loan will also play a crucial part in restoring DART’s long-term capital development capacity, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”