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Mobility Matters - Images of a freight truck traveling on a highway, downtown Fort Worth, a TRE locomotive, downtown Dallas skyline and highway traffic; Celebrating 35 Years of Regional Transportation Excellence, 1974 - 2009
Summer/Fall 2010 — Quarterly newsletter of the Metropolitan Planning Organization

New Program Provides Regional Ride-Matching
Creative Funding Approach May Bring Rail to Cotton Belt
      A Message from Michael Morris, Transportation Director

Wilemon Sees Education as a Key to Mobility
     Regional Transportation Council Member Profile, Kathryn Wilemon, Councilmember, City of Arlington
Department Enhancing Outreach with Social Media Presence
AirCheckTexas Reaches 40,000 Repaired and Replaced Vehicles
RTC's Trevino Wins Pitstick Award
Department Releases New Publications

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Department Enhancing Outreach with Social Media Presence

Transportation improvements require coordination among many entities. Regional planners and policymakers work with all levels of government to ensure the right upgrades are made to the appropriate facilities in a timely manner. But long before construction can begin, the public is asked to help shape the conversation.

Through public meetings and other educational activities, North Texans are involved in each step of the process. From the development of the concept through completion of the project, transportation planners pay close attention to residents’ opinions.

 

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The public now has a new option for influencing the discussion — social media. The NCTCOG Transportation Department recently launched a Facebook page and Twitter account, two methods for maintaining a dialogue with people interested in what’s happening with the multimodal transportation system and those trying to learn how the system works. A social media presence will allow the department to quickly communicate important messages with fans and followers, but more important, it will provide the public a chance to offer instant feedback.

Residents with questions or comments are encouraged to communicate with the department through any means, including social media. If you are not already keeping track of the department’s activities, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The sites will be monitored daily, and a good-faith effort will be made to respond promptly to inquiries. And the department will listen closely to comments and suggestions of how to improve service to the region.

Social Media tools

Those who do not use social media may still communicate with the Transportation Department through traditional means such as public meetings or e-mail, or by calling the department at 817-695-9240.

Social media channels open new possibilities for both transportation planners and people directly affected by their work. Social media sites give residents a better chance to shape the future of transportation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

They now can more easily interact with planners and suggest current and future improvements.

The Transportation Department will continue to evaluate the social media landscape, considering new opportunities if they enhance communication with the public. For now, you can find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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AirCheckTexas Reaches 40,000 Repaired and Replaced Vehicles

A program that aims to contribute to a cleaner North Texas recently celebrated two milestones indicating how broad its reach has become. The AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program has now helped repair 20,000 and replace an additional 20,000 high-polluting vehicles.

First came the repair mark. But not long after celebrating 20,000 repaired vehicles, AirCheckTexas recognized the replacement of its 20,000th high-polluting vehicle.

The program is intended to help those who may find it difficult to afford to address emissions problems with their cars and trucks. For example, each year the program pumps about $20 million into the North Texas economy as eligible applicants take advantage of the financial assistance offered. A family of four earning $66,150 or less qualifies for the program.

Residents who meet income and vehicle requirements are eligible for vouchers worth up to $3,000 toward the purchase of newer cars or trucks ($3,500 for hybrids) or up to $600 toward emissions-related repairs.

 

 

AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine milestone

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Several factors are contributing to the success of AirCheckTexas. Among them is an increase in participation. The first quarter of fiscal 2010 showed more than twice as many residents benefiting than during the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Dealerships, auto dismantlers, metal recycles and auto repair facilities also continue to make important contributions to the program.

Almost 200 repair facilities and 400 auto dealerships are participating in the program.

By replacing 20,000 passenger vehicles, the program has reduced nitrogen oxides by approximately 1 ton per day, equal to more than 3,400 intersection improvements.

Qualifying residents of the nine North Texas counties not currently meeting federal ozone standards are eligible for assistance. During tough economic times, voucher recipients are especially grateful for financial assistance that helps keep their vehicles running properly.

AirCheckTexas began in 2002, but five years later, the 80th  Texas Legislature expanded the funding and scope of the program and modified income guidelines so more people could benefit.

AirCheckTexas is one of many regional strategies the North Central Texas Council of Governments uses to improve air quality and bring North Texas into compliance with federal ozone standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant counties are currently classified as nonattainment counties.

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RTC's Trevino Wins Pitstick Award

North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino received the William J. Pitstick Regional Excellence Award during the annual North Central Texas Council of Governments General Assembly in June.

Karen Montgomery, Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Worth    T. Oscar Trevino, Mayor, City of North Richland Hills
Karen Montgomery, Assistant City Manager
for the City of Fort Worth, received the Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management.
T. Oscar Trevino, Mayor of the City of North Richland Hills, received the William J. Pitstick Regional Excellence Award.

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A former chair of the Regional Transportation Council, Trevino has been a leader in the continuing development of North Texas’ transportation system.

Karen Montgomery, a Fort Worth assistant city manager, won the Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management. She was recognized for her work in financial reporting. She was praised for her high standards in the workplace, where she has effectively addressed issues associated with financial reporting and the development of an annual budget during challenging financial times, and also for her work in the community.

The cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster received the Regional Cooperation Award at General Assembly. The cities were recognized for partnering on several joint cost-saving public safety services.

They share a three-city dispatch center and animal shelter, and a regional jail, firearms training facility, emergency management and fire protection services.


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Department Releases New Publications

The North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department recently published two documents discussing improvements in transportation and air quality in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Progress North Texas 2010 and Where the Money is Going a report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are now available in print and online. Progress North Texas covers five transportation-related challenges to the region and includes updates on how each is being met and a look toward future plans. Progress North Texas Where the Money is Going
Where the Money is Going is a summary of projects being funded with the help the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed last year in an effort to improve the economy in the midst of a recession. North Texas benefited from more than $862 million in transportation and air quality funding. Projects to build roadways, expand passenger rail service and improve bicycle and pedestrian travel throughout the region were among the beneficiaries. The region also received funding for air quality, energy, discretionary and high-speed rail projects. For a more detailed look at the recovery act, visit www.nctcog.org/recovery. The reports are available online or in print. For copies, call the Transportation Department at 817-695-9240.

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Mobility Matters is prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. 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 Department of Transportation.

10/18/2016  03/17/2009 JS

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