This week the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) organized a construction site tour to showcase the visible progress on the TEXRail train line which will operate between downtown Fort Worth and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Tour participants included the media, local government officials, and businesses interested in the railroad’s progress. Serving riders at nine stations, the route will follow existing rail lines from downtown Fort Worth, northeast through North Richland Hills to downtown Grapevine, and then into the north entrance of DFW Airport. Operating on primarily existing tracks, the route will provide direct access to all activity centers in the corridor, and will connect with other transportation services, including the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, AMTRAK, and FWTA’s downtown Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) and T&P Station. The first three TEXRail train cars arrived in Grapevine in October and were assembled on the tracks just east of the Grapevine Main Station. TEXRail is expected to open in late 2018.
With increased interest in public transportation in the congested areas in and around Fort Worth, local groups are advocating for transportation improvements, including the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, the 35W Coalition, and the Tarrant Transit Alliance. As its name implies, the 35W Coalition focuses its efforts on advancing improvements to I-35W from downtown Fort Worth into Denton County. This primary transportation corridor is one of the fastest-growing corridors in the country. The Coalition brings together concerned citizens, business leaders, land owners, developers, city, county and state elected officials and transportation experts.
The youngest of the advocacy groups, the Tarrant Transit Alliance (TTA), was formed just a few months ago. The focus of the TTA will be to educate the public and elected officials about the benefits of transit. The group maintains that “investment in our transportation infrastructure, particularly public transit, drives growth. It attracts development and increases property values along its corridors. It connects restaurants to diners, landlords to renters, families to local stores, and employers to employees.”
On a national level, Smart Growth America works with elected officials, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation and urban planning professionals, governors, and leaders in Washington to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.