At Tuesday’s work session, the Fort Worth City Council receive an informal report about the status of several transit-focused initiatives that began within the last year. All of the initiatives have been developed in close coordination with Trinity Metro.
“The last year and some that I’ve been here we have done a lot of work with the city and Trinity Metro on transit initiatives, and in this informal report you can really see a lot of the different efforts that we have partnered with Trinity Metro on to really make improvements to our transit system here in Fort Worth,” said Chad Edwards, Fort Worth Chief Mobility and Innovation Officer.
The list of the current initiatives, including most current details and next steps, includes:
*Transit Moves Fort Worth Transit Plan – City funding $450,000. Wrapping up recommended scenario and cost estimates. Developing an implementation
plan. Public Meetings in March, presentation to city council.
*EasyRide Program – No city funding. Eight hundred-plus employees have EasyRide Passes with an additional 100 being processed. Well on its way to reaching goal of at least 10% of employees with passes. Last year the program had only 50 participants when employees paid for passes. Continue outreach to employees, work with
Trinity Metro on Transit 101 seminars and other education options as needed for
“I keep getting emails about passes, and that is fantastic,” Edwards said.
*The Dash – City funding $450,000. Trinity Metro has four electric buses from New
Flyer Industries, and a charging station located at their bus facility on E Lancaster Ave. Bus 1903 has been having mechanical issues and troubleshooting continues with onsite New Flyer technicians and Trinity Metro mechanics. Continue troubleshooting issues and consider adding to fleet for improved service on The Dash route and other identified routes.
*Mercantile ZIPZONE – City funding $500,000. The service started in July and ridership has continued to grow since inception to over 870 riders in December. The service boundary has expanded to include BNSF headquarters. Continue to monitor ridership and service standards.
*Fort Worth Bike Share – City funding $50,000. FWBS added 50 electric pedal-assist bikes, growing their fleet to 300. Pedal-assist bike trips represented approximately half of all trips in December. FWBS is more successful and sustainable now with a product
that draws more people to this transportation option. Continue to work with Trinity Metro and FWBS on future options and coordinated efforts for growth.
*Bus route reorganization (council action March 3) – City funding $250,000. As one of the recommendations coming from the Transit Moves Fort Worth (TMFW) Transit Plan, Trinity Metro has already started its efforts to make changes to the bus system to
better serve current riders and draw in new riders. City staff will work closely with Trinity Metro in the development of the bus route reorganization that helps with recommendations from the TMFW.
*Medical District ZIPZONE (council action March 3) – City funding $250,000. Service expected to start in spring. City staff is working with Trinity Metro on development of service area boundary.
*Smart phone app (future council action) – City funding $100,000. Original estimate for City funding request was $450,000 to develop independently a new mobile phone app. After solicitation of RFP, selection of DART as provider, city’s share cost was reduced. The remaining $350,000 is expected to be moved to unallocated funds. City staff will work with Trinity Metro on development of app and future expansion of transportation options.
*Identifying uses for $500,000 in unallocated funds (future council action) – This funding is focused on projects that help both the city and Trinity Metro provide better access to public transportation. City staff has worked with Trinity Metro to identify potential projects that meet goals to focus on transit related projects.
An additional project is being developed as a recommendation from the Transit Moves Fort Worth Transit Plan, the East Lancaster Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Trinity Metro has taken the lead to develop the project scope, in coordination with the city, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transit Administration.