This is Part 1 - Statement of Purpose.
To view Part 2 - Policy Recommendations, CLICK HERE.
The Tarrant Transit Alliance (TTA) works with contributors, community officials, and regional leaders to build support for funding regional transit in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Our purpose is to educate, empower and mobilize policy to serve our entire region.
TTA supports transportation planning and governmental efforts that improve the quality of life of all Tarrant County residents. The principles outlined in this document will guide us as we move towards a more equitable, more accessible community.
TTA’s board and executive leadership team identifies as: 23% African American, 17% Hispanic, 60% Caucasian, 34% Women, 3% who identify as “other,” and 63% Men. Our diverse team is committed to ensuring that equity-focused transportation policies and support are prioritized in Tarrant county to ensure access to economic, health, and educational opportunities.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of Tarrant County households fall within the ALICE threshold (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), and the average annual transportation cost for a Fort Worth resident is approximately $12,974/yr. Having a transportation system that maximizes access to dependable transit options is vital for supporting our citizens and our city’s economic vitality. Transit is necessarily inclusive, without barriers linked to race, income, age, or ability. Because transit is resource-efficient and supports low-emission neighborhoods, it is also an indispensable tool for preventing climate change, cleaning our air, and protecting public health.
TTA has formulated the following equity principles to ensure that our transportation systems do not perpetuate racial and income inequality, limit economic opportunity, hasten catastrophic climate change, or exacerbate chronic disease.
The Annie E Casey Foundation describes racial justice as ”the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. All people are able to achieve their full potential in life, regardless of race, ethnicity, or the community in which they live ...[this]... framework can move us from a reactive posture to a more powerful, proactive and even preventive approach.” (Annie E Casey Foundation, 2021)
According to the Department of Transportation, “Equitable and safe access to transportation is a civil right” (US DOT, 2021). On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (Equity E.O.). The Equity E.O. directs the Federal Government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advance equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity to strengthen communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” (Equity E.O., 2021)
In accordance with the Federal efforts being provided, the TTA Equity Principles will serve as the embodiment of the movement that is needed to enhance transit access for our most underserved and widely marginalized communities.
TARRANT COUNTY RESIDENTS NEED TRANSIT THAT IS...
Our single-occupancy-vehicle-dependent development patterns have historically and continuously reinforced long-standing social inequities. Tarrant County residents deserve the freedom to choose a multitude of transportation modes. Transportation investment must be centered around removing barriers and prioritizing the needs of people of the global majority, people with low incomes, and people with disabilities.
In the DFW Metroplex, the primary source of ozone-generating emissions comes from automobiles. To ensure the residents of Tarrant County have access to clean air and a sustainable future, some car trips must shift to a more environmentally friendly mode. Transit investment must expand access to good bus, train, high-speed rail, on-demand, and bike service so transit ridership increases as a share of total travel. An emphasis on electrification is encouraged and recommended, but shifting modes is the top priority.
We want transit that accesses all areas of our city and is a good choice for anyone who might want to use it. This means that it is safe, reliable, easy to use, and clean - emphasizing customer service.
Access to transit should never be contingent on one’s ability to pay. People who need to get to work, school, and medical appointments need to be able to do so.
FTA funding grants opportunities & partnerships to lessen the expense on commuters. Especially for low-income populations.
Potential State funding can also provide relief for the ever-growing costs of transit.
We want to ensure any fare increase is equitable and attainable.
Those who need reduced-fare opportunities need to KNOW about these opportunities. Communication and marketing should be a primary emphasis of agencies and governments.
Improved transit choices expand workers’ access to jobs, employers’ access to the workforce, customer access to businesses, and business access to a customer base.
Instead of focusing on transit agencies as a for-profit business, communities should look at modal return on investment (ROI) as a part of a whole, healthy municipal system. Improved transit access, in tandem with healthy urban density, is suitable for taxpayers and municipal budgets. Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is great for the economic health of our community, placemaking & access. In a study of The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Development Near DART Light-Rail Stations, researchers concluded that the studied TODs around DART’s light rail “... added billions in economic activity for the DFW economy, [and] will serve as a catalyst for future economic growth.” (Shattles and Ball 2020)
SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE.
Transit investment must go beyond capital investments & various modes.
There are many factors that limit access to transit, including dangerous streets and lack of basic infrastructure amenities like sidewalks, streetlights, crosswalks, and shelters/benches.
Transit riders and operators deserve to use a system that takes their safety and security seriously.
It is important to look to the future and consider what the future of our region will be, but we shouldn’t wait to invest in needed accessibility measures. There is a need now. We need to meet the needs of today AND tomorrow.
VIEW OUR OUTLINE OF POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
Annie E Casey Foundation. (2021, April 14). Equity vs. Equality and Other Racial Justice Definitions. AECF.org. Retrieved June 8, 2021, from https://www.aecf.org/blog/racial-justice-definitions
Center for Neighborhood Technology. (2017). H+T Fact Sheet : Tarrant County, TX. Housing and Transportation Index. Retrieved June 2021, 8, from https://htaindex.cnt.org/map/
Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. (2021, January 20). The White House. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/
Shattles, G., & Ball, M. A. (2020, July 23). DART Rail Generates $10.27 Billion Near Rail Stations. DART.org. Retrieved June 8, 2021, from https://www.dart.org/news/news.asp?ID=1520
Tarrant County Public Health. (n.d.). BE AIR AWARE. TarrantCounty.com. Retrieved June 8, 2021, from https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/public-health/health-protection-and-response/environmental-health-promotion/air-quality.html
United for ALICE. (2018). Texas • 2018 County Profiles - Tarrant. ALICE Research Center - Texas. Retrieved June 8, 2021, from https://www.unitedforalice.org/county-profiles/texas
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Request for Information on Transportation Data and Assessment Methods. (2021, June 1). US Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-announces-request-information-transportation-data-and#:~:text=Equitable%20access%20to%20transportation%20is,pursue%20a%20comprehensive%20approach%20to