Presented By

Haggar-logo Dallas-logo

  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Trains Start Running

Ladrika Davis Gross

Ladrika Davis Gross didn’t plan on moving to Dallas from New Orleans. But August 29, 2005, changed everything. That morning, Hurricane Katrina made landfall, killing more than 1,800 and causing an estimated $148 billion in damage. Gross, her then husband, and their three kids fled, eventually winding up at Reunion Arena, where they remained for the next four weeks. While they were there, DART personnel visited.

“They were offering jobs, they were offering bus tokens and bus passes so people could get out and explore the DFW area,” Gross says. “They were very active with the citizens of New Orleans.” Within five months, Gross had a job as a bus driver and has since been promoted to rail operator. “It gave me the opportunity to experience the different parts of the city, from Dallas to Plano to the west side,” she says of her route. 

DART started light-rail service in June 1996, with just 11 miles of track. With the final section of the Orange Line opening in August, it now operates 90 miles of track and employs 3,600 people systemwide. According to a study by the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas, the rail line has generated $7.4 billion in regional economic activity with “more than $5.3 billion in private-capital transit-oriented development projects.” 

And for Gross, it gave her a reason to stay.

“We came to Dallas, and we saw the difference in the environment,” she says. “It was like, ‘Wow, it’s nice out here. Safe out here.’ There’s a lot of opportunity. When we saw it, we agreed that we weren’t going back.”