ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Passengers in Arlington bound for DFW International Airport on Monday morning will have a brand new way to travel. The city rolled out its first-ever public transit service known as the Metro Arlington Xpress -- or the MAX. The first bus pulled away at 5:35 a.m. on Monday morning.
"It's really happening," said Mayor Robert Cluck. "It is a huge deal for us."
The bus stop is located along Center Street, about a block away from Abrams Street, near the University of Texas at Arlington campus. From there, riders travel to the CentrePort Station, just south of DFW International Airport. Once at that station, travelers are able to connect with the rest of the area's public transit system, including DART heading eastbound into Dallas and the TRE heading westbound into Fort Worth.
One round-trip ticket between the CenterPort Station and Arlington costs $5 for travelers. The service operates from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays only.
This is a sigh of relief for folks in Arlington, who have long been wanting a taste of mass transportation. This is a particularly big step for the college students in Arlington, who may be commuting in from all over the area, and are now able to get around without the need for a car.
"It's the most exciting day that I can even imagine," said Arlington City Council member Kathryn Wilemon on Monday morning. "Arlington is now connected to the rest of the region through giving our citizens options. Rather than just taking a car, you can now connect with the rail and the whole region, right here."
David Harding was the first MAX bus rider. "What I'd like to see is all the seats full all the time, to the point where they're like, we need other buses because people are driving so many cars," Harding said.
This is first leg of the service is really just a test. The city will look at the MAX again in two years to determine where it could possibly expand to next. "Over the next two years, we're going to be gathering data," Cluck explained. "We will probably eventually have an election to see if people will support this long-term. If it's successful, I think they will."
Cluck added, "We're going to be part of the community now."
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