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Fort Worth
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Council report: Officials get update on transportation

During its Sept. 17 work session, the Fort Worth City Council received the first of a two-part update on transit in the city and future plans, looking ahead as far as 2045. The second part will be presented at the Sept. 24 work session.

This study focuses on Fort Worth with a strong emphasis on actions the city can take plus partnership between the city and Trinity Metro. It examines much broader changes through 2045 that will be needed in parallel with the city’s rapid growth.

“The key word here is ‘system;’ transportation has to be a system, as much as possible seamless, and as much as possible a one-seat ride,” District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan said.

The goals of the study are to:

• Enhance: Make transit attractive and compelling.

• Connect: People to life’s activities.

• Thrive: Improve Fort Worth’s quality of life.

• Ensure: Financial and environmental sustainability.

The current state of the system includes 48 total routes, including:

• 39 bus routes that provide fixed-route service in and around the city.

• 7 express bus routes that connect to regional activity centers.

• 2 regional rail lines that provide commuter service via Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and TEXRail.

The report noted that current service is infrequent.

For example, on weekdays only seven routes operate every 15 minutes or less, 25 operate every 30 minutes, and 18 operate every 60 minutes during other parts of the day.

The short hours include 33 weekday routes ending service at 6 p.m. Only 12 buses operate past 9 p.m., and only three go past 11 p.m. The weekend service is also sparse.

Total weekday ridership is around 17,400, with the top five routes carrying about 50 percent of the passengers. The highest ridership routes are all located south of downtown.

All of this can deter many people from using transit, the report noted.

The highest in-core transit demands in Fort Worth are within Loop 820 and south of Interstate 20, including Cityview/Hulen Mall, Ridgmar, Lockheed Martin, Western Hills, Woodhaven, and Far East Fort Worth, the report says. Demand in other areas is moderate to low.

Looking forward to 2045, rapid growth will significantly increase transit demand. Estimates show a 59% increase in population and a 42% increase in jobs. It is also estimated that demand for transit will increase significantly, especially in Cityview, Alliance Town Center, Near North Side and Panther Island, Riverside in northeastern Fort Worth, along with being in demand in most of rest of city.

The report stressed that significant improvements will be needed to keep pace with growth, including more service on existing routes, expansion of service, and a more transit-friendly environment.

Engagement efforts to date include:

• A technical advisory team with 20-plus members.

• A project website.

• Survey online and on project bus.

• Project bus, the City of Fort Worth and Trinity Metro’s rolling outreach program.

• Public meetings.

“Transit is about people. It’s about the environment. It’s about the congestion in the city,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “It’s gotta be dynamic, and it has to ultimately be regional or it will not succeed.”

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