News you need to know to move transit forward in Tarrant County
ENews / January 2019
January 17, 2019, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
We hope you will join the Tarrant Transit Alliance for drinks, a few small bites, and a quick update about the state of transit in Tarrant County at our monthly "Friends of Transit" Mixer!
Detra Whitmore, Trinity Metro
At the January Mixer, we will have Detra Whitmore from Trinity Metro speak about the companies approved by the Trinity Metro Board of Directors to conduct first-mile last-mile pilot programs in our region.
Interested in sponsoring this mixer? contact Rachel@tarranttransitalliance.org
Sponsoring the Tarrant Transit Alliance brings special recognition to your organization. It signals your support for transit-oriented development and the economic development potential realized from an expanded regional transit system.
There are several sponsorship opportunities available:
If you are interested in sponsorship, please contact Rachel Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 682-231-2036.
There are several ways to get involved with the Tarrant Transit Alliance and move transit forward.
If you are interested in getting involved, please click on the button below!
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has approved a $783 million contract for Archer Western Herzog joint venture to design and build the 26-mile Cotton Belt commuter rail line.
The line will stretch across North Texas from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Plano, and it will connect northern areas of Tarrant, Dallas and Collin counties.
Archer Western Herzog JV is composed of Irving-based Archer Western Construction and Fort Worth-based Herzog Contracting Corp. Cotton Belt includes 10 total stations as well as interchanges with the DART light-rail Orange, Green and Red lines, the TEXRail commuter line to Fort Worth and local bus services. Stations will be located in Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano. Archer Western Herzog will work on the rail line with assistance from lead designer Jacobs Engineering.
The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public input on an update to the Texas Rail Plan, which includes a list of current and future rail projects that the public will have the opportunity to learn about and submit comments. The plan also keeps inventory of all rail lines; analyzes rail service goals and contributions to the economy; catalogs and assesses potential infrastructure projects; and examines finance strategies for projects and services.
The public can review and provide input on the plan via the online meeting. There also is a survey and online form to submit public comments until Jan. 8, 2019. These options provide an opportunity for the public to comment on all rail-related issues in Texas, both freight and passenger, as well as existing and future projects and programs.
The rail system is a critical component of our thriving economy, safely connecting industries, ports and people. Per federal requirements, states must have a state rail plan that is updated every four years to establish policy, priorities and implementation strategies for freight and passenger rail in the state.
For media inquiries contact MediaRelations@txdot.gov or call (512) 463-8700.
ENews / December 2018
Please consider joining the Tarrant Transit Alliance in the 2019 year.
Your financial support of the Tarrant Transit Alliance will help us to continue to build on our recent successes to make this region more economically competitive with our peers throughout the United States.
There are different levels of Membership based on what you are able to contribute.
To learn more, click on one of the buttons below.
Join as an Individual
Join as a Company
If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Albright at email@example.com
Recently, I attended two events that outlined the new Legislative Priorities at the Texas state level. The first was the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition's Legislative Panelwhich featured Senator Kelly Hancock; State Representatives Stephanie Klick, Matt Krause, Chris Turner, Tony Tinderholt; and State Senator-Elect Beverly Powell. At this session, these representatives spoke about what the top priorities will be in the coming year. These priorities include Public school finance and property tax reform, school safety solutions, and Hurricane Harvey relief. Other items mentioned were cost-effective healthcare, quality public education & workforce training, tourism & expansion of transportation options.
Likewise, at the Texas Transit Association's Pre-Session Legislative Seminar in Austin, several speakers listed similar priorities - Public school finance, property tax reform, school safety, and Hurricane Harvey relief. While these issues were highlighted, more conversations were surrounding what we could do in the Transportation arena. This seminar included several representatives, transit agency workers, and lobbyists speaking openly about what priorities they will be pushing forward in the 2019 year. The big takeaway? TxDOT might be ready to consider transit projects that help relieve congestion issues. Want to get a new transit project funded? Tell the story of how that project will save time and money, and back it up with lots of data!
The Tarrant Transit Alliance
We are pleased to announce the 2019 TTA Board of Directors:
January 17, 2019
At the January Mixer, we will have Detra Whitmore from Trinity Metro speak about the companies approved by the Trinity Metro Board of Directors to conduct first-mile last-mile pilot programs in our region. The location will be announced soon.
Interested in sponsoring this mixer?
On Monday, the Trinity Metro Board named Bob Baulsir as the CEO who will take current CEO Paul Ballard's place on April 15, 2019. Bob began working at Trinity Metro in 2014 shortly after Paul Ballard and has played a pivotal role in getting the TEXRail project off the ground.
Read More Here
TEXRail has been getting a lot of the love lately, but let's not forget about our friend the TRE. There is a new station opening up that is a prime example of Transit-Oriented Development. Find out more about the Trinity Lakes Development and the new TRE station using the links below -
Watch the Video
ENews / December 2018
The Tarrant Transit Alliance will be launching monthly "Friends of Transit" Happy Hours for people who support Transit in Tarrant County. These Happy Hours will take place all over the county and will include a quick presentation by people who are involved in transit issues in the city. Please save the date, and join us for the first Happy Hour of the year on January 17th.
The city of Fort Worth has hired Nelson/Nygaard to conduct a study to supplement the 2016 master plan. Over the past few months, the research team has been interviewing various stakeholder groups and conducting market analysis to determine where the population will be growing and where transit demand might be highest in our region. The initial interviews with the stakeholders are clear - we need a more reliable service, with more effective routes. We want to see innovative solutions to our transportation issues that go beyond the bus, and we want improved access to data and improved communications.
It is the hope of the Tarrant Transit Alliance that the recommendations from this study will not only check these boxes but that our transit authority and city leaders will be able to work together to find the funding to make these a reality!
Speaking of communicating data...Did you see Trinity Metro's new data dashboard Trinity Metronomics?
Check it out by clicking on the button below!
Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department added two members to its leadership team. They join the staff in January.
Tanya Brooks will be assistant director overseeing the Traffic Management Division. In her new role, she will be responsible for maintaining and operating the city’s parking, signal, street lighting, pavement markings, and street signage programs, as well as the transportation and engineering planning sections.
Chad Edwards will be the mobility and innovation officer. He comes to Fort Worth with nearly 20 years of experience in transportation planning. Most recently, Edwards was assistant vice president of capital planning at Dallas Area Rapid Transit, where he had oversight of several areas, including corridor development, feasibility assessments, transit system planning, and travel demand modeling.
The U.S. Department of Transportation ruled that the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s recently-adopted Metropolitan Transportation Plan comply with federal air quality regulations, allowing current and future transportation projects to proceed.
Mobility 2045: The Metropolitan Transportation Plan for North Central Texas contains $136.4 billion in transportation improvements to be made over the next 20-plus years. The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) approved the plan in June 2018. The plan allocates $17.5 billion more expenditures than Mobility 2040, which the new plan replaces.
State Highway 199, LBJ East, I-20/I-820/U.S. Highway 287 (the Southeast Connector) and transit on the Cotton Belt rail corridor are a few examples of projects where development and implementation may continue, providing needed congestion relief and associated air quality benefits in the rapidly growing region. The Highway 380 corridor will also be studied to determine the best way to accommodate east-west travel in fast-growing Collin and Denton counties.
Planned improvements include $33.3 billion for rail and bus.
To better serve their customers, Trinity Metro is redesigning their system map along with their route schedules and would love to have YOUR input and feedback.
A focus group is being formed to evaluate the current system map and route schedule against their newly designed system map and route schedule.
In order to be selected, you must be able to get to and from one of the Trinity Metro stations or bus stops. This challenge will require you to use the Trinity Metro bus system and will entail going to a destination on Route 1. See Route 1 here. You will be provided with the materials and day passes for this challenge.
Here are the challenge requirements:
Note: participants will be randomly selected and notified by Trinity Metro before Dec. 10, 2018. If selected, you may complete this challenge by yourself or with a travel buddy.
Note: participants will be randomly selected and notified by Trinity Metro before Dec. 10, 2018. If selected, you may complete this challenge by yourself or with a travel buddy.
Click the button below to express your interest in being a participant
in the system map challenge!
This survey will require about 5 minutes of your time. Your individual responses are completely confidential and will never be shared. Thank you for your participation in this important research. Please complete the survey within the next 4 days.
If you have already taken the survey we appreciate your feedback.
Feel free to forward the survey link to others you know who live and/or work in downtown, W. 7th corridor, and the Cultural District
Thank you for your time and participation!
An update from the Tarrant Transit Alliance
Do you care about multi-modal transportation in Tarrant County?
The TTA is working to push transit forward in Tarrant County to create a better connected, equitable, economic engine that will benefit our entire region, but we need your help! If you want to be a part of the change and support our efforts, please consider joining the Tarrant Transit Alliance.
The DASH is a Cultural District circulator that is scheduled to begin operating in the spring of 2019. This public-private all-electric circulator will help folks get from downtown Fort Worth to the West 7th developments, the art museums, all the way to the Science and History Museum and back!
If you attended the West 7th Redesign Public Meetings, you might have gotten a chance to learn a little bit about this exciting project. Recently, the group responsible for the DASH has hired a market research firm to survey potential riders on travel patterns to finalize the hours of operation. They have also released the images below to help give us an idea of the look and feel of the DASH. We at TTA are looking forward to hearing more about this exciting project and will keep you updated as we learn more.
Grab your art supplies and prepare your entry in the First Mile artwork contest. The winner’s artwork will be seen on public bikes all over Fort Worth.
Each participant is asked to create a logo and artwork for Fort Worth Bike Sharing’s First Mile program. The chosen design will be seen on 200 bikes, more than 20 stations and in social media posts during the launch campaign.
First Mile provides low-income and transit-dependent members of the Fort Worth community with discounted memberships for the Fort Worth BCycle system.
Deadline to submit entries is Sept. 28.
To learn more, contact Fort Worth Bike Sharing.
The TTA Transit Academy is designed to equip private-sector 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.
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.
Find out More
Residents can learn more about a proposal to improve bicycle-pedestrian access through the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and various other transportation-focused efforts during public meetings in September.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments will host a public meeting series beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at its Arlington offices. Meetings are also scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 11 in Dallas and 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in North Richland Hills.
Staff will present several improvements and funding recommendations identified to fill gaps in the area’s expanding bicycle-pedestrian trail network. The public will hear about progress on the 53-mile Fort Worth-to-Dallas regional trail network and the Cotton Belt trail at the meetings.
Residents will also have the opportunity to learn about and comment on new transit projects being funded by the Federal Transit Administration through Fiscal Year 2018. The funds will be split among the following programs: Urbanized Area Formula, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities, State of Good Repair, and Bus and Bus Facilities.
Additionally, information regarding the automated vehicle program and the deployment of AV fleets in North Texas will be discussed at the public meetings. North Texas has become a leader in the deployment of this technology and seeks to continue cultivating partnerships to help it expand in the years to come.
A revision of the Public Participation Plan used to inform and engage the public about transportation initiatives will also be presented. The plan outlines the principles, goals and strategies for involving North Texans in the transportation and air quality planning process. This includes procedures for public comment periods. Staff will present proposed revisions to the plan that reflect new legislative requirements and the increasing role of video in public input opportunities.
Furthermore, residents will have the chance to provide input on the proposed modifications to transportation and related air quality planning tasks managed by the metropolitan planning organization. Proposed modifications to the Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019 Unified Planning Work Program will be presented for discussion.
Other resources and information about proposed modifications to the list of funded projects, electric vehicle incentives, the Regional Smoking Vehicle Program and AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine will also be highlighted during the meetings.
"Gather all the mobility services that exist and combine them to provide the most efficient travel plan. Help the end user to make the decision to make the modal shift from the car to other modes. Help the agencies to keep improving the system. . . . That's the vision. It's fun to work on."
On the latest podcast, we're joined by Chloe Spano for a look at integrated mobility systems and the promise of mobility as a service. A native of France, Chloe has been with Cityway since it was a startup 18 years ago, working with transit agencies to provide information for transit riders. Fast forward to current efforts in the greater Paris region to prepare for the 2024 Olympics by integrating transit and other modes (from roadway congestion to bike share and carpooling options) to provide real-time, predictive trip planning and payment for the general public.
What are the most important factors in making this happen? First, good data: from all the players involved and with the elements needed to create an intermodal trip planner. "Agencies should own their data." Secondly, getting all the large and small players to work together - cities, regions, different mobility providers.
What about suburbs and rural locations? What about dockless bikes and scooters?
Learn More & Listen
Join the Tarrant Transit Alliance
Transit Service begins throughout all TCC Campuses
Starting August 13, transit service became available to all TCC Campuses, including the Northeast and Southeast Campuses.
TCC students with a current student ID can use this ID as a free pass to ride on any Trinity Metro bus and the Trinity Rail Express.
To find out more, click here.
Sponsor the Transit Academy
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.”
FIND OUT MORE
We hope you will join the Tarrant Transit Alliance for drinks, a few small bites, and a quick update about the state of transit in Tarrant County at our very first "Friends of Transit" Mixer!
For the first Friends of Transit Happy Hour, we will be celebrating the Tarrant Transit Alliance's first birthday at the Lazy Moose! Enjoy great conversation with likeminded folks on September 6th.
This event is FREE to attend, but please RSVP so we know to expect you!
Did you know that Catholic Charities Fort Worth is the second largest provider of public transportation in Tarrant County?
Catholic Charities works from 6:15 am to 5:45 pm Monday through Friday. They provide rides to individuals 65+ years of age, those who are disabled, and those over 18 who are low income to help them attain transportation self-sufficiency, with a specific focus on employment and employment-related trips, medical trips, and senior social trips.
Their fares start at $2.00 per one-way trip and they currently serve Azle, Lake Worth, Saginaw, Benbrook, Sansom Park, Westworth Village, Crowley, Everman, Forest Hill, Grapevine, Haltom City, Keller, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Arlington, Mansfield, Kennedale, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, and Alliance areas.
If you are interested in getting involved with this great organization and the service they provide, you can volunteer with their Tarrant Riders Network. Volunteers can drive their own vehicle, choose their own schedule, and make a tangible difference in the lives of fellow community members.
To learn more about volunteering, click here.
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.
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.
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.
The voter-approved 2018 bond program will provide $8.5 million to improve the right of way from the Trinity River west to University Drive for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.
Make plans to attend one of the upcoming community meetings to discuss the project.
Meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 30, Aug. 6 and Aug. 16 at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Carl E. Everett Education and Administration Building Room 406, located at 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Information presented is the same at all three meetings.
Proposed improvements include upgraded traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, shared bus/bike lanes, a median, improved sidewalks, and illumination improvements.
To learn more, contact Project Manager Mitch Aiton at 817-392-6591.
Contact Your Councilmembers & Support Transit!
Local support for public transit is vital for any effort to fund and implement new transit systems or expand existing ones, and writing to your councilmember is often the most effective way to make your voice heard.
Want to write your local councilmember to ask them to support public transit in Tarrant County but aren’t sure what to write? Download and send our pre-written letters, now available on the Tarrant Transit Alliance website, to send to your elected official!
See Pre-Written Letters
If you aren’t sure who your city council member is, you can check out our website for this information as well.
Find your Councilmember
Funding for Transit, a State-Wide Initiative:
Across the State of Texas, the case is being made for more transit funding. Houston will be holding a referendum on transit funding in 2019, and the city is currently considering plans for a regional bus rapid transit system, high capacity transit between Downtown and the Galleria, and commuter rail with connections to the airports. In Austin, the Mayor is attempting to gather together a regional coalition for a vote to build a regional transit system that would include the Capital Metro Project Connect plan. And, in San Antonio, the Mayor has established ConnectSA, a pro-transit advocacy organization that will work to fund VIA’s regional bus rapid transit plan.
Digital Bus Stops in Fort Worth:
Trinity Metro has installed digital bus stops at six transit centers in the Trinity Metro System. These digital bus stops are part of the Trinity Metro’s Master Plan’s focus on improving service and customer experiences. According to the President of Trinity Metro, Paul J Ballard, “digital signage provides the opportunity to make timely changes that impact our customers.” The new stops have been deployed at the following transfer centers: Hulen Mall, La Gran Plaza, Sierra Vista, East Side, North, and Ridgmar Mall.
Find out more here
Ozone Levels in San Antonio:
San Antonio’s extreme levels of ozone have earned it a “non-attainment” designation by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning the city must now take steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Mayor Ron Nirenberg has responded by stating the city will look to expanding and improving its mass transit in an effort to cut back on such emissions. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff has said that “Public transit [in San Antonio] is going to be the key.” The city is also likely to delay any future highway expansions as a result of the designation.
Service Matters: Examining Ridership Trends in 25 North American Cities Over Time:
Earlier this year, the Transportation at McGill Research group released a report that examined ridership trends in public transit in North America. Their biggest finding? “Cities must properly fund their public transit operations, especially bus services, to ensure a steady increase in ridership.” Decreasing bus service in response to lowered ridership will only serve to exacerbate that decline. In fact, this group found that the largest factor explaining ridership is the volume of bus service delivered by a transit agency. Increasing bus service has a stronger relationship to increasing transit ridership than increasing rail service, likely because larger shares of a region’s population are able to utilize bus services. The researchers also state that it is not the presence of Uber/Lyft, bike-sharing services, or lowered gas prices that have caused a decrease in transit ridership in recent years, but rather the decline in bus services offered by transit agencies. The authors suggest that “continued investment in transit operations, both rail and buses, is essential to mitigate the transit ridership decline in North American cities.” The key ingredients to increasing transit ridership, they write, is increased bus service frequency and coverage.
Services like UberPool are making traffic worse
A New York consultant – Bruce Schaller, author of “Unsustainable?” – has released a report stating that services like UberPool and Lyft Line are not significantly reducing vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads, and are, in fact, exacerbating the problem of congestion. Schaller writes that Uber and Lyft have not delivered on their promises to decrease car ownership – car ownership is currently increasing across the nation – and have subsequently only added more vehicle miles driven. He shows that these services are not reducing private vehicle trips but are rather directly competing with, and drawing rides away from, bus and subway systems. Using data from eight cities, and the state of California, he concludes that “60 percent of ride-hail users would have otherwise used transit, walked or biked, or stayed home were it not for the availability of services such as Uber and Lyft.” Overall, the report casts doubt on the idea that such services will reduce private vehicle ownership or vehicle miles traveled and shows that they likely just compete with mass transit. Schaller warns cities and regions against betting against public transit in favor of ride-share services.
How Cars Divide America
Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large of CityLab, writes that “the car plays a central role in worsening America’s social, political, and economic divides” – the car divides America. Florida and his coworkers found that car-dependent metropolitan areas are less affluent than metropolitan areas in which more people bike, walk, or take transit to work. Related, car-dependent metros have lower levels of educational attainments than those where a larger share of commuters bike, walk or take transit. Furthermore, they found that driving a personal vehicle to work is associated with less innovation, while biking, walking, or taking transit to work is associated with more innovation. Florida does not believe the car is the sole problem for all that is wrong with America today, but he does believe that “in addition to wasted time and productivity, reduced quality of life, and…fatalities,” the car is a key factor in creating divides in our nation. An effort in all metropolitan areas to support and grow public transit could be helpful in healing these divides.
Fort Worth Transit
Fort Worth Transportation Authority(The T)
Molly the Trolley
Trinity Railway Express
The T Master Plan
Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee
PO Box 470474Fort Worth, TX 76147