Why we all need improved Public Transit - a personal story
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call on a Friday afternoon around 1:30 pm. On the other side of the line, was a woman calling to attempt to book a ride for her friend to visit the doctors the next day. I explained to her that I was not a transportation booking organization, but that I would happily try to help her find the right phone number to call. As a transit advocate, it was the least I could do.
This woman lives 6 hours away, and her friend, who lived in Hurst, was deaf and blind & unable to book her own appointments. While she typically used the wonderful supplementary service Catholic Charities provides, either due to the timing or the location this service was no longer an option. I took down her information and her friend's location and appointment needs. "This will be easy," I thought, thinking of myself as one 'in the know' about the resources available for those who need a ride, and began a 2.5 hour-long quest to find the right phone number for this person in need. I called everywhere from MyRide Tarrant County to 211 trying to help this woman help her friend.
Imagine, for a second, that you are in the same situation as this woman's friend. Your health and wellness are tied up with your ability to get to the doctor's office when the appointment is scheduled, yet the resources are so difficult to find, you might not even know where to start! When I finally called her back with the resources I could find, she was very thankful. "I didn't know about any of these! It's so hard to find any of this stuff online!"
This is why the Tarrant Transit Alliance was formed. Transportation isn't just about moving people, it is about helping our population get to work, school, the doctor's office, and the grocery store. Our population is growing, and we need to start making changes to our system NOW if we are going to ensure a more equitable, efficient, and economically competitive city in the future.
- Rachel Albright, President of the Tarrant Transit Alliance
The City of Fort Worth Transit Group
The City of Fort Worth has formed a transportation Technical Committee, which will be overseeing the new City of Fort Worth Transit Master Plan. This plan will sit next to the existing Trinity Metro Master Plan that was adopted in 2015 and will be conducted by the same consulting firm (Nelson/Nygaard) as the Trinity Metro Master Plan. The goal is that this plan will help city staff and officials prioritize projects and implementation strategies for the next few years. This study is exciting for many reasons, one of which is the ability for the city leaders and staff to really own the outcomes of the study and drive changes to the city code and plan that will allow transportation projects to thrive. We are working on the structure as well, not just looking at what we can do in the current environment.
The total project is projected to take around 18 months to complete and the approval for this study will go before the City Council on August 7th. A part of the proposal will be to set aside $1M for transit funding ($550 for TNC first mile/last mile innovation projects and $450 for this new Transit Master Plan).
If you are interested in learning more about this project, the transit working group, or the proposed scope of work that will be going before City Council on Tuesday, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the DASH! Have your voice heard!
The DASH is a new circulator that is set to begin service in spring of 2019. This circulator will connect the Cultural District with Downtown and will run every 15 minutes on all-electric busses! This new circulator will help connect these two districts and will give Fort Worth visitors the ability to enjoy the Fort Worth Cultural District without the need of renting a car.
At the same time, the City of Fort Worth is working on plans to improve the West 7th corridor to make the area more bike, pedestrian, and transit-friendly. A series of public meetings are being held to present the proposed plans and gather feedback. This is your opportunity to voice your support or concerns and we encourage your attendance.
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Sponsor the Transit Academy
The TTA Transit Academy is designed to equip private- and public-sector leaders across Tarrant County with the personal and group tools to lead conversations about the value of multi-modal transit across the region and about the emerging mass transit options that can address our mobility needs.
Sponsorship opportunities are now available for this unique series.
Find out more here.
Rail~Volution will be holding its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this year, from October 21-24, 2018. Their conference is “the only transportation conference that showcases the link between land use, transit, and development.” It is an event where planners, grass-roots and non-profit organizers, academics, transit officials, developers, health and housing advocates, and elected officials can come together to discuss, share, and innovate – all to provide “solutions for building livable communities with transit.”
Rail~Volution is open to all interested parties and offers a limited number of scholarships for those who need them. Apply ASAP for the scholarships however, as applications close on August 10.
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Be sure to follow @TarrantTransit on Twitter and @TarrantTransitAlliance on Facebook for more news and updates regarding transit in Tarrant County and across the nation.