Hannibal Lecter wrote:Is there any evidence that adding a people mover is going to increase usage? I'm not even talking about increasing it enough to justify the cost -- that's beyond pie-in-the-sky. Let's be realistic: how many people are there really who don't rider DART to Love Field now that would start just because there was a people mover?
Here's something to keep in mind: The latest numbers I can find show the Inwood station with an average daily ridership of 393 (those numbers are pretty old, but are probably on the high side since rail system ridership has declined since them). Let's be generous and say that 75% of those are going to the airport (unlikely). That's roughly 300 people per day, or less than 30 an hour. At an average of 2 people/car, that's about 12 cars/hour that aren't going to Love Field because of the rail system.
So if you spend $100 million on a people mover to double the number of folks using rail to get to Love Field, you're at best taking 12 cars an hour out of the airport.
The difference in ridership would be the difference between having a mass transit stop at a major national airport, and not having a mass transit stop at a major national airport. Right now, there is no link no matter how much people want to believe there is. A bus route that takes you a few miles to a train station might as well not exist. You cannot base projected ridership based off of something that is insanely inconvenient.
Many travelers coming from other cities with stronger mass transit culture would not think twice about taking a DIRECT train link from the airport to the city center or other nearby destination if it is an easy get on/get off situation. A traveler from NYC, SFO, ORD, SEA, BOS, DC, etc. who uses mass transit at home would be very likely to use a direct train connection to their hotel or event Downtown.
On top of all of this, a direct airport/DART rail link will strengthen the system overall and be a net positive in our goal to have a higher mass transit use, and take some cars off the road. Most cities with successful mass transit have at some point connected their airports to the overall rail system. It's not rocket science on why that would be a net positive.
Another road link to the terminal, especially one that has to tunnel UNDER active runways sounds like a massively expensive endeavor that further serves making everything as convenient as possible for automobile owners, future public transit be damned. Therefore, I would not be surprised if it happened but I am NEVER surprised when our city leaders make a shortsighted and backwards decision.