North Texas Summit To Look At Future Of Transportation

Alan Scaia
February 08, 2019 - 7:37 am
Train

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HURST (1080 KRLD) - Transportation leaders will meet in Hurst Friday for a summit on the future of transportation. The Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit is held each year.

Sessions start Friday morning with a panel on how to help people who use transit go the "last mile" from a station to their home, work or a restaurant. The panel includes the public policy manager for JUMP, a company that produces dockless electric bicycles; the vice president of design for AECOM, which is studying ways to provide infrastructure for things like self-driving cars; and the head of strategy for drive.ai, which uses self-driving cars as a form of mass transit in Frisco and Arlington.

Other sessions include discussions about high speed rail and the future of rail as part of mass transit in North Texas.

Last month, Trinity Metro launched TEXRail service. For the first month, people could ride free, with ridership peaking at more than 10,000 people on some days.

"When the train comes to Grapevine, it's like a mass movement of people from the train station to the north," says Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes, who will deliver the opening and closing remarks at the summit. "They're going up Main Street and popping into the shops and restaurants."

Grapevine is building a hotel, plaza and parking garage around its station at Main Street and E. Dallas Road.

"I think Grapevine is going to be a huge winner in this, what we call, transit oriented development," Fickes says.

Starting last Friday, riders had to pay a fare for TEXRail. A single ride costs $2.50, and a day pass costs $5. A regional day pass allows rides on Dallas Area Rapid Transit trains and buses. The regional pass costs $12.

​Since riders had to start paying a fare, Trinity Metro says ridership has averaged about 2,000 people per day. The agency says it was prepared for an initial drop when fares started and is planning for an average of 8,000 riders per day by the end of TEXRail's first year. Trinity Metro expects ridership to increase to 14,000 people per day by 2035.