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Mayor LaRosiliere on the future of transportation in Collin County

As Plano is quickly evolving as a business district, the demand for reliable transportation is growing.
Big changes are underway for transportation in DFW | Photo credit: David Downs

As Plano is quickly evolving as a business district, the demand for reliable transportation is growing. People from all over the DFW metroplex commute to Plano to work for large companies headquartered here, including Frito Lay, Toyota Motor USA, and JCPenney.

Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. Photo by Stephanie Tann
Mayor LaRosiliere. Photo: Stephanie Tann

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere recently met with members of the US Conference to discuss the future of transportation in Plano and Collin County. High on Mayor LaRosiliere’s list of priorities is providing a more sensible commute to those who travel to work from various parts of the metroplex.

“We’re planning an all-above approach where we’re going to implement different things to just chip away at traffic,” Mayor LaRosiliere says. “Overall congestion and mobility are concerning, not only to people in Plano, but in North Texas as a whole. We can’t completely eliminate traffic, but we can reduce it and alleviate it to certain degrees. Long-term, we are preparing the city for autonomous cars and for the ridesharing economy underway.”

Read more: Bumper to Bumper: What’s going on with traffic in Collin County?

The Legacy Business district employs over 100,ooo people. Per Mayor LaRosiliere’s studies, 90 percent of these employees are single drivers, and 40 percent of these people willing to ‘try something different,’ in terms of commuting to work.

“People find that the last half-mile to three-quarters of a mile takes the most amount of time, due to traffic,” Mayor LaRosiliere says. “If there were some sort of rideshare or mass transit option, people could spend that half-hour working on their tablets or laptops, and just getting work done.”

The City of Plano also has plans for a new transit center, with rapid transit options to other parts of DFW.

“The Cottonbelt Station will be coming to 12th Street in Downtown Plano in 2021,” LaRosiliere says. “It will provide direct transportation to Dallas.”

Read more: Plans revealed for Legacy Cultural District

A new DART station will open in downtown Plano in 2021 | Photo: The current station at downtown Plano, by David Downs

The burning questions nearly every Dallasite has regarding transportation are about the possibility of a bullet train. Is it coming to Dallas? When will it arrive? Where will it take us?

“The bullet train is very real in our future,” Mayor LaRosiliere says. “It passed some major hurdles in the last legislative session. It’s set to run between Houston and Dallas.”

Like most DFW residents, Mayor LaRosiliere is thrilled at the idea of a bullet train coming to Dallas.

“It’s safe, it’s economical, it will create jobs, and it’s all privately funded,” Mayor LaRosiliere says. “They’ll probably look to connect it from Dallas to Fort Worth once it arrives.”

Mayor LaRosiliere hopes that the changes coming to Dallas’ mass transit will help cultivate contentment and peace-of-mind across Collin County.

“We are looking to maintain a sense of proactivity to maintain a high quality of life,” Mayor LaRosiliere says, “for our citizens and for commuters.”