Better Transportation Solutions Coming to Southern Dallas’ Inland Port
The City of Dallas is likely one step closer to having a comprehensive transportation plan for the Inland Port. The Inland Port is a regional economic powerhouse, nestled in the southernmost section of Dallas, employing more than 17,000 people in the trade, transportation and utility industries.
Recently, public and private industry leaders, including representatives from Amazon, Home Depot, Proctor & Gamble as well as Dallas City Councilmember Tennell Atkins and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price gathered for an Inland Port symposium at UNT-Dallas. Hosted by DART President Gary Thomas, participants weighed in on two panel discussions on the topics of “What is currently happening in the Inland Port?” and “What is a Transportation Management Association (TMA)?”
DART revealed several new transportation measures being taken and tested to increase mobility for employees to their employers at the Inland Port, including a pilot program called DART GoPool to allow users to call for a rideshare in areas where fixed bus routes aren’t available. During the ensuing discourse, businesses revealed they often arranged their own shuttle buses to transport employees from DART stations to their facilities. The Dallas Regional Chamber representatives also said the most commonly asked question they receive from prospective businesses about the Inland Port revolve around quality public transportation.
During the second panel discussion, Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments described a TMA as a formal organization of businesses and local governments dedicated to solving local transportation concerns. He challenged attendees to come together to form such an entity for Southern Dallas. The symposium ended with several organizations committed to exploring the idea of creating a TMA, including the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, The Regional Hispanic Contractors Association as well as Amazon and Home Depot.
Background information: Inland ports are specialized places developed along railroad lines that offer shipping container transfer facilities as well as serve as a distribution point for goods. With three major highways and three major railroad networks in and around the Dallas area, most goods shipped from Dallas’ Inland port can be delivered to all major North American Markets within 48 hours by train or truck.