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  • 20 Feb 2018 8:36 AM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)


    TTA NEWSLETTER

    WHATS NEW WITH TTA?

    The Tarrant Transit Alliance has been hard at work formalizing our organization's structure.  This includes forming our Board of Directors (more to come on this!) and finalizing the first draft of our Strategic Plan.

    If you are interested in getting involved with the TTA, please fill out the following form:

    SIGN ME UP!

    At the same time, we are already hard at work advocating for improved transportation funding with the City of Fort Worth!  We have been meeting with City Council and City Staff members to discuss funding options, and have a meeting scheduled with the League of Neighborhoods to continue our advocacy and education efforts!

    Finally, we are working on a Transit 101 workshop that we will begin to offer to people who are interested in learning more about how Transportation works in our region and what they can do to help improve public transportation.  This program is based on the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee's Transit Citizen Leadership Academy.  Some of the topics this course would cover includes:

    • Scanning the Landscape - a look at the historical, economic and social impact of transportation in the United States and in North Texas.
    • Understanding the Current Reality - An exploration of Tarrant County's transit system and the challenges we face.
    • Identifying Models of Success - An analysis of the successes and failures of other communities facing a transit challenge.
    • Evaluating the Options - An examination weighing value and cost of options for Tarrant County, informed by global practices.
    • Engaging the Community - Identification, and activation of community resources to support transit conversations.
    • Creating the Conversation - A design for facilitating conversation on transit options and opportunities.

    This is just the beginning! There will be more information on this program in the coming months.

    MOVING TRANSIT FORWARD

    THE DASH

    WHAT?

    The Dash is a grass-roots-led initiative aimed at resolving current mobility problems along the West 7th Corridor and connecting the Cultural District and Downtown. We are committed to demonstrating how innovative funding models can inspire investment in public transportation infrastructure and services which will produce economic and social benefits for our community. In fact, investment in transit can exceed the payoff of investment in many other policy areas, including the expected effects of reducing taxpayer burden.

    The vision for the Dash is to be a multi-route circulator system, with future recommended routes connecting Downtown to 1) Near Southside, 2) Panther Island and the Stockyards, and 3) Six Points Urban Village (planned). The first and most urgent route is the Cultural District line, which will utilize all-electric buses -- the first of their kind added to The T’s fleet. These energy efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles are sleek, unique and will have WiFi connectivity.

    HOW?

    This citizen-led project is a public/private partnership with The FWTA committed to providing 75% of the necessary funding for the Dash but it is up to businesses and citizens to raise the remaining 25% of operating costs. The funding model will also include a fixed fare.

    WHEN?

    Proposed Launch Timeline - EARLY 2019!

    Proposed Operating Schedule -

    • Sunday - Saturday, 10 am - 10 pm (15-min service)

    • Thursday - Saturday, 10 pm - 12:30 am (15-min service with extended evening hours)



    Find out more about the DASH


    ________

    STUDENT PASSES AT
    TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE


    Starting in May of 2018, Tarrant County College will be purchasing bus passes for all 50,000+ students in their district to help their students get to class.  TCC's Student IDs will work as their bus pass, and they can utilize the pass anywhere that currently gets service.  Tarrant County College is also working with Trinity Metro to extend service to campuses that currently do not have service.  

    The Tarrant Transit Alliance will be partnering with Tarrant County College to help promote this partnership and educate their students on how to utilize these services.  This is a huge win for transportation utilization and ridership and we look forward to watching this program roll out in the coming months!

    ________

    TEXRAIL

    TEXRail is on track to begin operations in late 2018.  This new commuter rail line will extend from downtown Fort Worth, northeast through North Richland Hills to downtown Grapevine, and then into DFW International Airport.  

    Did you know that there are people who still do not know about TEXRail?  If we want improved transit options in Tarrant County, TEXRail is an opportunity for us to show how successful a transit project can be!  We need to make TEXRail a roaring success by telling everyone we know about it!  

    Want more information about TEXRail?

    Learn about TEXRail

    TRANSIT IN THE NEWS


    THE T BECOMES TRINITY METRO

    Have you heard? The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (AKA 'The T') has announced a name change.  As of January 29, our transportation authority is taking on a name that reflects a more regional look at transportation - Trinity Metro.

    Read all about it

    ________

    Fort Worth Grapples With How to Boost Transit Spending

    City of Fort Worth Councilmen Carey Moon (District 4) and Brian Byrd (District 3), spoke with the Trinity Metro Board of Directors on February 8th about the potential of increasing funding for transportation by allocating a portion of the sales-tax earnings.  Councilman Moon suggested bringing this to a vote in the May election.

    This came a week after City Manager David Cooke gave a presentation about Transit Funding in the pre-council meeting.  One of the possibilities mentioned in this January 30th session was taking funding from the Crime Control and Prevention District, a suggestion that the Tarrant Transit Alliance does not support.  Utilizing the cent that currently goes into the General Fund is a much better option, but it appears that the suggestion to put this on the May ballot has not come to fruition.  This does not stop the possibility of increased funding, it simply will not appear on the May ballot.

    Read all about it

    ________

    Arlington will Commit to Public Transportation — Once High-Speed Rail is Definite, Mayor Says

    One of the ways Transportation Authorities receive funding is by adding Member Cities.  At the moment, Trinity Metro only has 3 member communities.  Will the prospect of high-speed rail bring Arlington into the fold?

    Read all about it
  • 26 Jan 2018 5:04 PM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    By Robert Francis rfrancis@bizpress.net

    Jan 26, 2018


    On the muscle of my arm there's a red and blue tattoo
    Says, Fort Worth I love you – Michael Martin Murphy

    Sure, we love our city. Great Mexican food, barbecue and chicken-fried steaks, what’s not to love?

    But will Amazon love us enough to locate HQ2 here? We won’t know until Jeff Bezos stops counting his money and makes the final decision. But hey, we made the cut to the final 20. And that wasn’t easy.

    Based on the cities that made the cut, and what the company told some of the cities that didn't, the company will likely scrutinize six key criteria when making its final call: Talent, size, quality of life, education, those ever popular tax breaks and incentives, and transit. Amazon plans to announce its decision later this year.

    Amazon executives were pretty quick to tell some areas that didn’t make the cut why they didn’t. As quickly as the Amazon site tells you they no longer have that special body lotion you love, they bluntly told officials from Kansas City, Missouri, that the region's lack of highly-skilled technology workers cost it a spot on the final list, according to Tim Cowden, CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. Ouch.

    If you look at the list of key attributes, put together by the Associated Press following the announcement of the finalists, Dallas and Fort Worth stack up pretty well.

    But, according to some, Fort Worth’s plans for becoming HQ2 for the e-commerce giant may get derailed for one very important reason: Transit. There, according to Paige Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industry, the western side of the Metroplex doesn’t stack up. During a speech at the 2018 Greater Fort Worth Builders Association’s Economic Forecast presented by Lee Lighting on Jan. 25 at Ridglea Country Club, Shipp said she expects transportation issues to rule out several of the potential sites put forward in the joint bid submitted by a number of North Texas cities. She identified sites in Dallas County, such as Trinity Groves, Victory Park, Reunion, Oak Cliff, Plano and near the University of Texas at Dallas as likely locations. All have a solid transit component.

    As you can read in our story by Craig McDaniel on page 10, the area is moving forward with some new transit options. But as anyone who has driven Interstate 35 north of Fort Worth in the past 5 years knows, improving traffic nightmares doesn’t happen overnight.

    And local business leaders are making their voices heard. It’s not the first time. The 35W Coalition in north Fort Worth helped put a focus on improving access to the fast-growing Alliance area. That is finally bearing fruit.

    Now a new alliance is coming forth to push for “a more robust transit system for Fort Worth and Tarrant County.” The Tarrant Transit Alliance, supported by the Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth, among others, is planning to show up at the Jan. 30 Fort Worth City Council meeting to “make sure our transit systems stay a priority,” according to the group.

    The organization points out that funding for the T, which operates the city’s bus service and some regional transportation independent from the city, comes from a half-cent sales tax approved by voters 34 years ago. Changing that formula won’t be easy.

    In September 2017, the city was unable to generate sufficient support for a plan to expand bus service. So things are moving, if not on the tracks, to improve area transit.

    Will it help land Amazon HQ2? Maybe not, but maybe we’ll get in the discussion. At the moment, on the Irish bookmaker site Paddy Power, the Dallas bid for Amazon’s has 20 to 1 odds, while Boston, where Charlie is still riding that M.T.A., has 2 to 1 odds. Austin, not exactly stunning in mass transit, by the way, has 11 to 2 odds.


    READ MORE at Fortworthbusiness.com

  • 24 Jan 2018 10:48 AM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    BACKGROUND

    Transit investment in the Fort Worth area is much lower than in most current peer cities. Consequently, transit ridership is also lower.

    In 2015, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority published their well thought out and studied Master Plan.  Since the plan’s publication, no new funding mechanisms have been established from the city.

    Funding for the T, which operates the city’s bus service and some regional transportation independent from the city, has come from a half-cent sales tax approved by voters 34 years ago. In 2017 that was about $68 million in revenue.

    Just for comparison, in 2018 San Antonio has budgeted to spend 4.1million out of their general fund for new public transportation routes.  Their funding mechanism is similar to ours, and their city realized that the half cent is simply not sufficient to fund their transit system.  Nashville, a finalist for the Amazon HQ2, also provides funding for public transportation out of their general fund (and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s President & CEO Paul Ballard helped build that system when he worked for them!)


    WHY IT MATTERS RIGHT NOW

    Our region is growing - 
    Fort Worth is on track to become the Nation’s 12th largest city by 2019.   By 2035, Tarrant County is projected to grow from 1.8 million residents to 2.8 million. With this growth, comes traffic congestion and further wear and tear on our infrastructure.  While public transportation options are not cheap, building more roads is even more expensive.  Improved public transportation allows cities to efficiently and equitably move people from one place to another, allowing for our city to expand and meet the needs of our growing population.


    Our demographics are changing & our workforce is leaving - 
    The number of millennials in the workforce in comparison to the number of Generation X and Z-ers is decreasing – there are more jobs and less workers.  This is already creating competition in the jobs market as cities compete for workforce talent.  Location decisions for major companies today start and end with “do they have the people we want?” Millennials want transportation options, and better transit options will be crucial to attracting and retaining this key demographic. 

    At the same time, Baby Boomers are reaching retirement. In Tarrant County, the population of older adults is projected to increase by over 185,000 residents – from just 9% of the population in 2010 to 17% of the population in 2030. This large population of older adults will require safe and affordable transit options to stay active and engaged in their communities and access daily services and medical appointments.

    Economic Development -
    Amazon’s HQ2 requests for proposals illustrates the competition between cities for workforce and the importance of public transportation options.  As mentioned before, companies are researching and relocating in search of young, qualified talent - GM left the suburbs of Connecticut to Boston, McDonald’s moved its HQ to downtown Chicago, Expedia moved from Bellevue, Washington to Seattle… this is just to name a few.


    An Equitable City -
    Residents in the Fort Worth region spend over 25% of household income on transportation. In fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metro area is in the top 20 regions in the country for the highest annual transportation costs. Transit provides an affordable transportation option for those who depend on public transportation and those who choose to ride it.  Building safe and efficient public transportation systems helps people get to work and school. 

    We need to prepare our city for the future -
    Autonomous vehicles and other future technologies are coming, which will allow for even more connectivity. But these are not going to replace the systems we are setting into place.  Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit will serve as the spine to these transportation systems, with driverless buses replacing driven buses, and smaller vehicles traveling along the corridors we establish today, but with the ability to adjust for the last mile



    Resources


    Take a stand for improved Public Transportation!

    Last Fall, our Fort Worth City Council leaders said they would look at the interim budget to see if there are savings that they could re-direct to improving the transit system. On Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 pm, supporters of transit in Fort Worth will head to City Hall again to remind our elected officials of this promise and to make sure our transit systems stay a priority.

    THE ASK

    We want to use public transit, but it is infrequent and will not go where we need to go. We need funding to help improve the service, make it faster and easier to ride, and expand its reach. We HAVE to start today.

    Increased funding allows for more frequent stops and longer hours, expansion of service areas, and the connection of urban villages and other city centers.  This is the backbone of the system - a frequent transit network.

    The T Masterplan is a well researched roadmap to make this happen.  We have already moved into the Northside, the next step, based on research of demand centers, is to move into the western quadrant.  This requires $4.4million for operating funds and $7million for the busses.  The next quadrants are the Southside and the Eastside.  This is to help build the base of the system and develop a frequent transit network so our community is best served and we can connect our city’s activity centers.  This means building more service, which requires more funding.

    The Plan

    We will be meeting on Tuesday, January 30 at 4:00 PM at The Winchester Tavern, a bar located at 903 Throckmorton st (Formerly Paddy Red's Irish Pub).  If you would like to ask questions, go over talking points, get help signing up or just hang out with us before the City Council Meeting, that is the place to be!

    We will help folks sign up until the 5:00 cut off, and then walk over to City Hall (a quick, 5 minute walk).

    If you are driving, you can park on the streets and pay at the meter (parking is free after 6PM).  To get here via public transportation, we recommend using Google Maps as it is very accurate. Simply click “directions” and then select the picture of a train at the top to get public transportation directions.


  • 9 Jan 2018 8:15 AM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    The TTA Founder's Council

    Ken Adair
    Shareholder
    Harris, Finley & Bogle

    Carlo Andreani
    Principal
    Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers

    Tyler Arbogast
    Development Director
    James R. Harris Partners

    Paul Ballard
    President & CEO
    Ft Worth Transportation Authority

    Kenneth Barr
    Principal
    Barr Consulting

    Michael Bennett
    Principal & CEO
    Bennett Benner Partners

    Daniel Berce
    President & CEO
    GM Financial

    Victor Boschini
    Chancellor
    Texas Christian University


    Mike Brennan
    Planning Director
    Near Southside

    Derek Buchanan
    Vice President - Commercial Real Estate
    Frost Bank


    Naomi Byrne
    Consultant
    EJP Consulting Group 


    David Campbell
    Vice President
    Huitt Zollars


    Larry Chilton
    Executive VP of Real Estate Lending
    Frost Bank


    Linda Christie
    Government Relations
    Tarrant Regional Water District

    Travis Clegg
    Principal
    Peloton Land Solutions

    Bill Coppola
    President - Southeast Campus
    Tarrant County College

    John Cornelsen
    President
    Evolving Texas


    Jeff Davis
    Chairman - Fort Worth Division
    Republic Title


    Michelle Davis-Mohammed
    Manager of Real Estate Management Services
    Tarrant County College District


    Ryan Dwiggins
    Vice President of Development
    CHC Development


    Charles Edmonds
    Owner
    Charles Edmonds & Associates


    Sal Espino
    Fee Attorney
    Sendera Title


    John Michael Franks
    Attorney
    Wynne Law Firm

    Tom Galbreath
    President
    Dunaway Associates


    Randy Gideon

    Eugene Giovannini
    Chancellor
    Tarrant County College


    Susan Grawe
    Business Development Director
    Balfour Beatty


    Dak Hatfield
    President
    Hatfield Properties


    John D. Hall
    VP of Administration & Campus Operations
    University of Texas at Arlington


    Sloan Harris
    Partner
    VLK Architects


    Joel Heydenburk
    Attorney
    Jackson Walker


    James Hill
    Executive VP
    Texas Capital Bank


    Bob Jameson
    President & CEO
    FW Convention & Visitors Bureau


    Ginger Johnson
    VP, Business Development Officer
    LegacyTexas Bank


    Ryan Johnson
    Managing Partner
    Good Hope Development


    Nanci Johnson-Plump
    Vice President
    CBRE


    Vistasp Karbhari
    President
    University of Texas at Arlington


    Drew Kile
    Senior Director
    Institutional Property Advisors


    Jeff King
    President
    Northern Trust Company


    Brad Lonberger
    Principal
    Gateway Planning Group


    Scott Mahaffey
    CEO
    Cohn & Gregory

    Drew Martin
    Managing Director
    DM2

    Nicholas K. Martin
    Asset & Project Manager
    Concorde Asset Group


    Andre McEwing
    Supplier Diversity Manager
    Tarrant County College District & 
    Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce

    Matt Montague
    Associate
    JLL

    Paxton Motheral
    Vice President
    Cassco Development


    Ken Newell
    Trinity Lakes and Newell Company


    Neftali Ortiz
    Manufacturing Engineer
    Lockheed Martin

    Paul Paine
    President
    Near Southside

    Brandy O'Quinn
    Public Affairs Senior Manager
    Blue Zones Project


    Nina Petty
    Vice Chancellor for Real Estate & Facilities 
    Tarrant County College District


    Phillip Poole
    Partner
    Townsite


    Brian Randolph
    President
    Mercantile Properties

    Keri Redford
    Managing Director
    JLL Valuation & Advisory Services


    Titus Rodriguez
    City Council Place 1
    City of North Richland Hills

    Pollard Rogers
    Partner
    Cantey Hanger LLP

    Jonathan Russell
    Sr. Project Manager
    Dunaway Associates


    Al Saenz
    CEO
    Multatech


    Fred Slabach
    President
    Texas Wesleyan University

    TD Smyers
    President & CEO
    United Way of Tarrant County

    Casey Tounget
    Broker
    Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors

    Walter Williams
    Director of Operational Infrastructure
    Tarrant County College District

  • 22 Sep 2017 5:07 PM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    "It's dishonorable..." lack of quorum shuts down debate about public transit

    BY SANDRA BAKER sabaker@star-telegram.com

    SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 05:07 PM UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 10:07 PM

    FORT WORTH — A proposal to devote city property tax revenue to expanded bus service in Fort Worth appears dead after two council members who opposed the measure failed to show up for a public hearing Friday afternoon.

    The council had scheduled a special session for a public hearing to change the property tax rate that, if approved, could have given the T about $2.8 million from tax revenues in 2018. The Fort Worth Transportation Authority has said it needs the money to implement expanded bus services to the city’s west side.

    The council knew three of its members had conflicts and were not going to be able to make the meeting. But when Cary Moon of District 4 and Jungus Jordan of District 6 did not show for the meeting, Mayor Betsy Price declared a lack of quorum 15 minutes after it was supposed to start.

    About four dozen residents, some in wheelchairs who previously have spoken about being transit dependent, showed up to the meeting. About half of them met with Councilwoman Ann Zadeh afterward in a separate meeting room, where 17 people spoke. 

    Read More at Star-Telegram.com


  • 21 Sep 2017 3:32 PM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    BY SANDRA BAKER sabaker@star-telegram.com

    SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 03:32 PM UPDATED SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 06:58 PM

    FORT WORTH — It’s clear the City Council is headed toward spending property tax revenue on public transportation for the first time in the city’s history.

    That means homeowners will contribute to the city’s bus system by paying more property taxes than the city had originally planned, about $10 to $20 more for the owner of a $200,000 home.

    Not all of the council members will agree to it. They will discuss the issue further Friday during a public hearing on the 2018 budget.

    Council members are torn between continuing to lower the city’s property tax rate in the wake of rising property values and improving the transportation system for a better quality of life. 

    Read More at Star-Telegram.com


  • 16 Sep 2017 10:31 AM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    SEPTEMBER 16, 2017 10:31 AM UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 04:30 PM

    BY BUD KENNEDY bud@star-telegram.com (Updated.)

    FORT WORTH — Amazon nearly made Fort Worth a $6 million delivery, and with the help of Facebook.

    Young professionals pointing to Amazon’s expansion plan convinced City Council to think a few days about a larger tax increase and buying an extra $6 million in better city bus service.

    Two council opponents eventually sank the idea. But it was last-minute anyway. It was another example of civic activism fostered on Facebook. 

    Read more at Star-Telegram.com

  • 13 Sep 2017 6:44 PM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 06:44 PM UPDATED SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 07:15 PM

    BY SANDRA BAKER sabaker@star-telegram.com

    FORT WORTH — The City Council has opened the door to expanded bus service by its decision to consider taking property tax revenues and spending it on public transportation.

    Councilwoman Ann Zadeh pressed the issue Tuesday night, saying “fixing the transit system is our job.”

    The council voted 6-1 to consider setting the proposed property tax rate for 2018 to 81.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which is one cent higher than what’s been proposed.

    Zadeh wants the revenue from the penny, or about $5.7 million, to go to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or the T. The money would be used to expand and improve services to the city’s west side. 

    Read more at Star-Telegram.com

  • 11 Sep 2017 11:30 AM | Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    BY SANDRA BAKER sabaker@star-telegram.com

    SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 05:43 PM UPDATED SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 11:39 AM

    FORT WORTH — Advocates for public transportation plan to ask the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday to put more money toward the city’s transit needs.

    The Tarrant Transit Alliance was launched late last week on the heels of Councilwoman Ann Zadeh’s plea to her council colleagues that the city not reduce the property tax rate as planned.

    Instead of the proposed reduction of 3 cents for the 2018 budget, Zadeh suggested a cut of 2 cents, with the money going to the T to help it improve services.

    Zadeh’s remarks came during a budget work session Thursday, in which she said it was “irresponsible” the city wasn’t doing more to help the T put in a master plan the City Council asked for three years ago. She also said the council needs to stop talking about improving public transportation and actually do something. 

    Read More at Star-Telegram.com

CONTACT US

(682) 231-2036

PO Box 470474
Fort Worth, TX 76147

rachel@TarrantTransitAlliance.org

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