Location and Transportation
Located at the crossing of two key heavy freight lines and both regional and interstate transportation corridors, Garland is a powerful part of the regional economy.
The competitive advantage of Garland’s central location has been enhanced with the completion of the eastern section of President George Bush Turnpike (north and east) to I-30 (south) and II-635 to the south.
The NTTA also plans to extend the western PGBT terminus south to Interstate 20 through the city of Grand Prairie, forming a half loop around the city of Dallas. This phase is still in the early stages and the NTTA has not released a completion date; however, construction on 161 Toll south of State Highway 183 is in progress. Long-term plans are for the turnpike to form a full outer loop around Dallas, dubbed Loop 9.
Before the Great Depression, the Santa Fe (now Kansas City Southern) and MK&T Railroads (who later merged with Union Pacific) wrote the history of Garland’s business expansion, primarily centered on the distribution of cotton and onions, and telephone/telegraph services. Heavy rail and passenger rail lines play an important role in Garland’s future development. The development of the Union Pacific Inland Port in Southern Dallas over the next 30 years promises to increase Class I rail traffic throughout the Union Pacific system, including shortline feeders such as the Dallas-Garland-Northeastern Railroad.
In 2013, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) opened the eastern extension of the Blue Line that connects Downtown Garland with Downtown Rowlett. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Mobility 2030 Plan also recommends study of the Kansas City Southern rail corridor north from Downtown Garland to Lake Lavon to accommodate future passenger rail needs (Wylie). This could ultimately give Garland three DART rail stations, further interweaving the city into the center of the Metropolex.
Garland has two light rail stations linking residents and employees with the region. Located in the heart of two of Garland’s largest employment centers, the Forest/Jupiter and Downtown Light Rail Stations serve more than 3,000 riders each weekday. The City continues to encourage higher intensity residential, retail and employment uses adjacent to the stations for its near and long term economic growth.
Garland features an extensive bus service which connects to the surrounding DFW Metroplex.