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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons, DART
Jane Logston, the T

July 13, 2001

Area Transit Authorities Win Regional Cooperation Award

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) are the recipients of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Regional Cooperation Award for their combined commitment to the concept of regionalism through cooperative efforts.

The award was presented June 15, 2001, at the Council of Governments 35th Annual General Assembly Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington. Established in 1996, the Regional Cooperation Award honors local government agencies that promote coordination and cooperation among jurisdictions to solve regional problems, pursue regional approaches to solving multi-jurisdictional problems and demonstrate the cost and performance efficiency of working together.

The T and DART were chosen for this award based on their working relationship in bringing commuter rail service to the area. More specifically, the award was made to the two transit agencies for the seamless fare structure implemented with the expansion of the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) into Tarrant County last year. The two transit agencies have worked together in an exemplary fashion to implement the first two phases of TRE commuter rail service from Dallas' Union Station to Irving in 1996, and to Tarrant County at the Richland Hills station in September 2000. With the opening of commuter rail service to the two new downtown Fort Worth stations this fall, the seamless fare structure will allow passengers from either side of the region to travel easily on both DART and T services.

"This was not an easy achievement as there were many challenges to overcome in order to achieve success in this partnership endeavor," said Dave Ragan, T Executive Committee vice chair, in accepting the award for the T.

Ragan explained that two different policy boards, two different agencies with different sales tax rates, and two different organizational styles and approaches all had to be part of the equation. With strong leadership and commitment, these challenges were overcome and the seamless fare structure was implemented as the commuter rail line reached Tarrant County in September 2000.

"A seamless transit system is critical to the commuting public," said DART Board Vice Chairman Robert Pope, who accepted the award on behalf of DART. "The seamless fare structure provides a great value for commuter rail passengers and exemplifies what intergovernmental cooperation can achieve," he added.

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