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Local Motion - photos of the TRE, traffic in the IH 30 managed/HOV lane, Fort Worth, airplane

   

September 2016

N. Texas officials celebrate TEX Rail
groundbreaking
CAAD16 Group PhotoFWTA Photo


Officials celebrate TEX Rail groundbreaking Construction of the TEX Rail project, one of Tarrant County's most anticipated transportation projects in years, is underway. Ground was broken in August on the $996 million, 27-mile commuter-rail line that will connect Fort Worth to Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. It will include stations in North Richland Hills and Grapevine.

On August 24, the Fort-Worth Transportation Authority was joined by public officials from throughout Tarrant County for a series of groundbreaking ceremonies for the service, which will connect many of the county's residents and businesses to the airport via passenger rail. TEX Rail, which is scheduled to debut in late 2018, will run from the T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth, through North Richland Hills and Grapevine, terminating at Terminal B at DFW Airport.

TEX Rail trains are projected to carry 8,000 passengers among nine rail stations daily. By 2035, ridership is expected to grow to 13,000, according to FWTA. Along with a new transportation option for many, there will be many opportunities for transit-oriented developments around the TEX Rail stations. This project is a top priority laid out in FWTA's master plan, which seeks to connect more people to more places via public transportation. On the eastern side of the region, Dallas Area Rapid Transit has offered light-rail service to DFW Airport along its Orange Line route since 2014.

For more about TEX Rail, visit TEXRail.com.

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By the Numbers:
13, 000

Projected daily ridership of the TEX Rail commuter service by 2035. The 27-mile route is expected to be completed by 2018.

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MEETINGS

View the Transportation Department calendar to learn about upcoming meetings and opportunities to get informed, involved.

Need Help with Vehicle Repair or Replacement?

Motorists whose vehicles failed the state-required vehicle emissions test may be eligible for up to $600 to repair or $3,500 to replace their automobiles through the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program. Income guidelines and other requirements are available at NCTCOG/org/airchecktexas.

To help auto dealerships, repair shops, local governments and nonprofits promote the program, NCTCOG developed a toolkit, available at NCTCOG.org/trans/air/act/toolkit .

 

Dallas Streetcar Extension to Bishop Arts District Opens

The next phase of the Dallas Streetcar project opened in August, with the extension to the popular Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. The total line now boasts six stations, stretching 2.5 miles, from Union Station to the corner of Zang Boulevard and Davis Street, at the east end of the Bishop Arts District.

The streetcar, which remains free to ride, is also running more frequently, operating every 20 minutes between 9:30 am and midnight. The 1.6-mile streetcar starter line, between Union Station and Methodist Dallas Medical Center, opened last year with help from a federal grant award from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program.

This is the new street car used around the Bishop's Art DistrictDART Photo

The next development phase of the line is an extension to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Ultimately, transportation officials would like to extend the line to Olive Street, enabling a direct connection to the McKinney Avenue Trolley.

 

Region's TEXpress Lanes offer Efficient Alternative

TEXpress Lanes are part of the solution to the long-standing problem of heavy congestion during peak hours in the Dallas-Fort worth area. These lanes allow drivers to choose a reliable, low-stress commute along some area roadways in exchange for a toll. Currently, TEXpress Lanes are open on the DFW Connector, LBJ Express, North Tarrant Express and Interstate Highway 30. The lanes also allow transportation planners and engineers to manage the demand in a way that benefits the entire corridor. The addition of TEXpress Lanes has led to increased capacity in these corridors and reduced congestion in general-purpose lanes.

Data collected from two corridors indicates how well the new lanes are working. With more capacity along the LBJ Express and NTE, speeds have increased from 50 mph before construction began to 60 mph today. Speeds in the TEXpress Lanes range from 65-75 mph throughout the day. The lanes are also popular, enjoying a 71 percent approval rating. During construction of the North Tarrant Express and LBJ Express, many motorists took alternate routes in search of greater reliability.

Since these projects were completed, vehicles have returned, exceeding pre-construction levels by 14 percent on LBJ and 36 percent on NTE. TEXpress Lanes are gaining popularity for motorists looking for safe, reliable ways to move through the rapidly growing region. Over 6 million different vehicles have traveled on the LBJ and NTE TEXpress Lanes, with new drivers trying the lanes each day. In fact, 36 percent of users are new each month. Many are using the lanes when they have time-sensitive events and need the reliability managed lanes can provide.

Income seems to be less of a factor in determining whether to use the lanes than conventional wisdom suggests. Although many believe that the lanes are used more frequently by luxury vehicle drivers, the most popular car makers on TEXpress Lanes are Toyota, Ford and Honda.

 

North Texas seeks to set new participation mark with Electric Vehicles

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione will address electric vehicle enthusiasts during the annual National Drive Electric Week event September 17 at Grapevine Mills mall. Organizers hope the 2016 gathering will be even bigger than last year's record-breaker.


North Texas electric vehicle owners set the Texas mark for most EVs in one place at the same NDEW event last year, and preparations are underway for an even bigger blow out.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments and Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition encourage North Texans to witness another record-breaking gathering and learn about these EVs and EV charging at this year's DFW NDEW event.


North Texans of all ages can get up close and personal with cutting-edge EV technology and participate in fun hands-on activities. Additionally, there will be ride-and-drive opportunities for available EV models, entertainment and a chance win the use of an EV for a day.


Additional information and registration details can be found at www.dfwcleancities.

 

Improve Air Quality by Walking, Biking to School

Walking and bicycling are fun, easy ways for kids to get to school energized and ready to learn. Furthermore, walking and biking equals less traffic congestion and air pollution around your neighborhood school.

Each day, about 1,800 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions are released from school buses alone. Children are particularly susceptible to this harmful pollution, which is known to trigger asthma attacks.

To encourage more kids to safely walk and bicycle to school, local schools from Denton to Dallas to Fort Worth have started walking school buses, and more than 100 schools have participated in International Walk to School Day held each year in October.

Resources on how to start a walking school bus or host a Walk to School Day event at your school can be found at NCTCOG.org/ schools/ resources .

To learn useful tips on how you can bike, walk, and drive safely, visit LookOutTexans.org.

 

Idle-Reduction Strategies- Your Help Needed
Idling reduces fuel economy, costs you money and contributes to harmful ozone-forming emissions.

NCTCOG is looking for ways to make regional anti-idling programs more effective, and we need your help.
The short, seven-question survey linked below provides an opportunity for you to tell us what type of vehicles are most important to target, what messages are most effective and areas where idling is most crucial to reduce.

Take the survey at SurveyMonkey.com/r/NCTCOGIdleReduction
This is the official logo for the idle restriction efforts in 2016.

 

 

Input Sought on 10-year work plan, work program

Residents are encouraged to provide input on a series of transportation topics during public meetings in September.

The regional 10-year plan, Unified Planning Work Program modifications for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, fleet-funding opportunities and DFW Connector Pilot Program marketing efforts will be presented at 6:30 pm Sept. 12 in Bedford, 2:30 pm Sept. 14 in Arlington and 6:30 pm Sept. 20 in Dallas.


North Central Texas Council of Governments staff members are working on a 10-year planning effort in coordination with regional partners and the Texas Department of Transportation district offices. A map showing the progress from previous 10-year efforts will be presented for public review and comment. Input will also be sought on projects and priorities for the next 10 years.


NCTCOG is also responsible for the UPWP, a summary of transportation and related air quality planning tasks to be conducted by the metropolitan planning organization. Modifications to the UPWP will be provided for review and comment.


Finally, presentations will be given on Fleets for the Future, a regional procurement effort for alternative fuel vehicles; and the DFW Connector Pilot Program, a marketing effort initiated by North Texas Tollway Authority and NCTCOG to encourage TollTag usage in the DFW Connector area.


Modifications to the list of funded projects, National Drive Electric Week and Joining Forces: Aligning Community & Military Missions will also be highlighted. For more information on the meetings or to watch a video recording of the Arlington meeting, visit NCTCOG.org/input.

Read or print Local Motion as a PDF here.

Read previous newsletters here.

For more information about Local Motion topics, contact Brian Wilson at 817-704-2511 or bwilson@nctcog.org. Visit www.nctcog.org/trans for more information on the department.

Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the opinions, findings and conclusions presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Texas

10/5/2016 CH

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