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November 30, 2001
Commuter rail expansion completes connection of Fort Worth and Dallas
Trinity Railway Express Service into Downtown Fort Worth
FORT WORTH, TEXAS-Regional leaders joined board members from the Fort Worth Transit Authority (the T) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) today to host a pre-service launch of the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) now serving Downtown Fort Worth. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger participated in ceremonies at the historic Texas & Pacific (T&P) and CentrePort/DFW Airport Stations.
"We are thrilled to complete this portion of the TRE, allowing our customers the opportunity to utilize service to and from downtown Fort Worth. Workers from throughout Tarrant County now have options for an easier commute by rail versus automobile, and passengers originating in Fort Worth, to other parts of the Metroplex, will find their commute easier and more economical." said Dave Ragan, the T Executive Committee Chairman. "TRE service also opens many of Fort Worth's tourism destinations to the entire region, allowing visitors from throughout the region."
Opening ceremony activities took place trackside at the historic T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth. CBS affiliate news anchor and managing editor Tracy Rowlett served as Master of Ceremonies. Other special guests included Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Robert Patrick, Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Michael Behrens, and the T Executive Committee Chairman Dave Ragan and DART Board Chairman Robert Pope.
DART officials have worked closely with the T to complete the TRE, a $245 million joint project. Plano businessman and DART Board Chairman Robert Pope joined Tarrant County officials and reaffirmed the support of the DART Board and Dallas County communities. "The completion of the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth unites our region, bringing us together like never before. This seamless connection between east and west is a tremendous resource for North Texas as we work together to improve mobility and enhance our quality of life."
Following the brief ceremony, business and community leaders boarded the inaugural train and traveled to the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station.
The ceremony at CentrePort/DFW Station featured Sen. Hutchison, Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Ralph McCloud and Acting Dallas Mayor Mary Poss. Sen. Hutchison's and Rep. Granger's assistance with funding and transit related regulatory issues have been vital to the success of the TRE.
"The Trinity Railway Express will promote tourism and mobility to North Texans-so people can go to work or go to recreational areas throughout the metroplex by train," said Hutchison.
Long-time champion of transportation issues in and around North Central Texas, Representative Granger attended the event and supports new approaches to regional transportation solutions.
"The Trinity Railway Express opens the gates for regional economic opportunity, including better paying jobs throughout the region." said Granger. "The TRE is perfect for commuters looking for timely and cost-effective convenience, as well as for families looking to discover great destinations on the weekends."
Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr, whose involvement in this joint effort dates back to his days as Mayor Pro Tem, is pleased with the TRE's service into downtown Fort Worth.
"The Trinity Railway Express is an impressive model of regional cooperation between neighboring communities," said Barr. "Our collective efforts will increase mobility, decrease traffic congestion and improve air quality….all attractive elements to promote positive economic development."
Acting Dallas Mayor Mary Poss echoed Mayor Barr's comments on such a regional accomplishment. "This is the finest example of regional cooperation between Dallas and Fort Worth since the opening of DFW International Airport nearly 30 years ago," said Poss. "Regional mobility-the ability to travel easily, safely and reliably throughout North Texas-is vital if we are to assume the position to which we aspire on the global stage."
In addition to The T and DART, other funding entities include the Federal Transit Administration, Texas Department of Transportation, Tarrant County and the Federal Highway Administration. Municipalities helping to pay for operations are Arlington, Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Haltom City, Hurst, Grand Prairie, Grapevine and North Richland Hills.
The T and DART officials were also honored to host FTA Regional Administrator Robert Patrick. "Today's ceremony is a victory for regional approaches to mitigate congestion and ease the commute for residents of such a largely populated region." said Mr. Patrick.
Area commuters will have TRE service six days a week beginning December 3, 2001. Four morning and three evening trains are scheduled to travel between Fort Worth to serve traditional commuters. A midday train along with three late night trains also will be available for riders. Saturday service occurs every two hours after two early morning trains traveling eastbound at 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Westbound trains arrive at the T&P beginning at 9:55 a.m. through 11:55 p.m. at every two-hour intervals. Full schedules can be found at the TRE website at www.trinityrailwayexpress.org. Click on "see preview."
The train, which has been operating at three stations in Dallas County since December 1996, and three Tarrant County stations since September of 2000, currently hosts nearly 6,000 rides per day. The North Central Texas Council of Governments projects more than 11,000 riders each day by 2010.
In addition to the T&P, and CentrePort DFW Airport Station, riders can board at the following stations: Hurst/Bell Station on Bell Spur Drive, Richland Hills Station on Burns Road and the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) located at Ninth and Jones Street. Dallas County stations include West Irving Station at Esters and Rock Island, South Irving Station on Rock Island Road, Medical/Market Station in Dallas and the Union Station in downtown Dallas. Free parking is available at all stations except the ITC, Medical/Market Center Stations, Union Station and the American Airlines Center. There is no overnight parking at CentrePort/DFW Airport Station.
For more information on fares, and special commuter discounts for the Trinity Railway Express, call The T at (817) 215-8600 or DART at (214) 979-1111. Information also is available on the following web sites: www.trinityrailwayexpress.org, www.the-t.com, www.DART.org
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