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Monday, January 25, 2021

Changes come to Fort Worth transit: Molly the Trolley no longer free, The Dash to be implemented downtown

Molly the Trolley has been driving people around downtown Fort Worth for free since 2009, but the Fort Worth Transportation Authority has recently sent out a fare report that shows single rides on Molly will be $2 and all-day passes will be $5.

Money from Molly’s fares will only pay a small percentage of the $1 million operations cost for the trolley transportation, and Laura Hanna with FWTA hopes to continue to see downtown businesses help support the route and the associated costs.

While Molly has offered free rides, she isn’t the only one seeing an increase in fare. City buses have been $1.75 per ride since 2012, but will now also be $2 per ride.

“We want fares to be even across the board,” Hanna said. “We need to increase the fare from time to time to expand our bus service.”

But, FWTA wants all public transportation users to know that the all-day pass really is the best deal.

“Passengers can ride all day on any Tarrant County trolley, bus or train in our system,” Hanna said. “The convenient $5-day pass gives riders dozens of options for one low price.”

FWTA officials have said that the new increases in fares should only cost an average rider $1.27 more per day, a figure Hanna says is based on an average of riders who buy day passes and riders who buy single ride tickets.

But if the negatives are outweighing the positives for city bus and Molly riders, know that there are some good things to come with the fare increases, such as extended routes and a new “Dash” transit option.

“We implemented a major expansion in the north quadrant in April, and we are currently looking at options for additional service in the west quadrant,” Hanna said on route expansion. “We have asked for funding from the city of Fort Worth.”

The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau has plans to raise $50,000 not only to go toward some of Molly’s operation costs, but also to implement a new planned city shuttle called the Dash, which will operate in the West Seventh Street area.

Because an external group is planning Dash’s route and raising the required funds – the expected operating costs for The Dash total $1.28 million – the FWTA does not currently have an anticipated start date. Though FWTA anticipates the four buses to run at 15-minute frequencies during peak hours, with a preliminary schedule of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and service Thursday through Saturday potentially from 10 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.

“The Dash is intended to be a great transit option for connecting downtown with the Cultural District during the day and with 7th Street entertainment venues later at night,” Hanna said.

The Dash will also have a $2 single fare cost, but Hanna says FWTA hopes “riders will focus on the $5 ride-all-day fare that can be used on any of our buses in Tarrant County and the Trinity Railway Express to CentrePort.”

www.FWTA.org

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