Just Seven Days Until It’s Time to ‘Ride the MAX’

Articles MAX 08-07-13

There are only seven days left until the City of Arlington’s new commuter bus service, Metro ArlingtonXpress, or MAX, starts rolling down city streets.

Beginning August 19, MAX will represent the first time residents will be linked seamlessly to a regional transit grid, a connection that has eluded the city before now.

Buses will run daily between the College Park District on the University of Texas at Arlington campus and the Trinity Railway Express’ CentrePort/DFW Airport station. That’s where riders can catch a TRE train to Fort Worth, Dallas or other destinations. After arriving in Fort Worth, riders can transfer to any T bus. Over in Dallas, riders can use any DART bus or train in the system.

Buses will operate Monday through Friday from about 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with pick-ups and drop-offs scheduled at multiple times throughout the day. MAX will depart and arrive on the southwest corner of UTA Boulevard and Center Street. Free parking is available in the First Baptist Church surface lot just across the street from the bus stop on the southeast corner of that intersection.

City officials estimate that the service could transport several hundred passengers per day.

“Since MAX is a two-year pilot project, it allows us to try out the service and gather data on ridership and demand,” said Mayor Robert Cluck. “This information will be extremely helpful as Arlington’s Council evaluates the future of transportation options within the city.”

The new commuter bus service does not involve public transportation within Arlington, a move that voters have not favored in the past. Rather, it provides a unique outlying connection to Dallas and Fort Worth while giving residents a limited glimpse of public transit.

Kathryn Wilemon, the Arlington City Council’s Mayor Pro Tempore, touted the new commuter bus as an important economic development generator that could help bring workers and more jobs into Arlington.

“The workforce is connected to transportation,” she said. “Part of this program is funded from the business community. They want to participate. It’s a public-private partnership because they’re saying ‘If we don’t connect to workers, we’ll be left out’.”

The MAX service also will provide a needed connection for college students who commute in and out of the city, Wilemon said.

Varun Mallipaddi, the UTA Student Congress president, said he’s excited about the opportunities the bus service could provide the campus.

“Many of those who don’t have transportation outside of Arlington will benefit from this,” he said. “And those coming into Arlington could use this as well.”

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For more information, please visit RideTheMax.com.