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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Transit bus linking Cultural District, downtown begins test runs

Community members glimpsed at Fort Worth’s transportation future on Tuesday as Trinity Metro’s new electric bus, the Dash, made its first official appearance at the Kimbell Art Museum.

The new 100% battery-powered transit bus does not have a tailpipe, meaning it emits no waste products that pollute the environment.

Trinity Metro will first test out the bus by riding it on the streets of Fort Worth for the next few weeks, before starting regular transit service on Sept. 22.

“What we have to do is start finding ways to move people,” said Scott Mahaffey, Trinity Metro board chairman. “Great cities have great transportation systems, and we’re starting to build one.”

Along with the reduction in greenhouse gas footprint, the bus produces low ranging sounds and has advanced telematics, the ability to merge telecommunications and vehicular technologies.

The interior of The Dash has modern seats with USB charging ports.

“I am a big believer in public transportation,” Fort Worth Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, who represents District 9, said. “I am especially excited about this new option. There are no other options like the Dash. It gives people more chances to choose other options than besides driving places on their cars. A multi-modal system that provides options is what it’s all about.”

Apart from the convenience factor, The Dash is also expected to be a cost-saving option.

Compared to a regular bus, the Dash will save $125,000 in maintenance costs and $400,000 in energy costs in the next 12 years, according to bus manufacturer New Flyer.

A single full charge can power the Dash to operate its routes for a whole day.

From late September, the Dash will begin operating from downtown to the cultural district, along 7th Street in Fort Worth. A stop at the new Dickies Arena is also included in its route.

“We know the Dash builds Trinity [Metro’s] mission to improve the quality of life in Tarrant County and drive economic development in this reason,” said Dave Cormack, business segment director at New Flyer Industries. “This is why we’re so honored to serve Trinity Metro in providing transit that makes Tarrant County livable, supports continued economic growth and connects residents with the heartbeat of the cultural district.”

The bus and a charging station were delivered to Trinity Metro on May 13. Three more electric buses are expected to arrive in Fort Worth by the end of this month.

Together the buses will make up the Dash bus service, which will run every 15 mins apart of each other.

Regional Transportation Council had provided the grant funding to purchase the buses while other public and private investors, such as Kimbell Art Museum, Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, Amon Carter Museum, City of Fort Worth, Crockett Row,.Museum Place, Sheraton Downtown Fort Worth, UNTHSC and Visit Fort Worth.

The Dash will cost $2 for a one-way ticket or $5 for unlimited rides with a day pass.

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Neetish Basnet
Neetish is a writer and digital content producer for Fort Worth Business Press. He has been covering businesses of all shapes and sizes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for several years. After graduating with a journalism degree from University of Texas-Arlington, Dow Jones News Fund selected him for a digital media fellowship. He still likes the smell of a freshly printed newspaper.

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