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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

Public-Private Partnership Moving Rail Improvements Forward at Tower 55
Preparing 'our Future' for the Future
      A Message from Michael Morris, Transportation Director

Washington Follows Unusual Path to DFW Airport Board
     Member Profile, Bernice J. Washington, Board Member, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Outreach Center in Southern Dallas to Help Trucks Operate More Efficiently
TEXpress Lanes: A New Way to Drive in D-FW
Record Number Take Action for Clean Air
Annual Transportation Report Now Available
Help Us Celebrate Our 40th Birthday

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Outreach Center in Southern Dallas to Help Trucks Operate More Efficiently

A new partnership between the public and private sectors is providing the trucking industry with education and programs to improve efficiency, save money and reduce its impact on regional air quality. 

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) partnered with Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS) to open the region’s first Freight Efficiency Outreach Center, funded with a $486,767 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Showcase Communities Program and $234,384 from CSS. 

 

Photo: Aviation career website

Resources
Cascade Sierra Solutions
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CSS is an Oregon-based nonprofit organization founded in 2007 with several outreach centers located on the West Coast. The outreach center, which opened in May, is in southern Dallas, at 34811 LBJ Freeway (IH 20 just west of Bonnie View Road). 

Since the center opened, CSS has been concentrating on letting more than 500 owner-operators know there is a freight efficiency center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said Duncan MacDougall, manager of the Dallas center. The center has also hosted training conducted by the Texas Railroad Commission. 

At the Dallas center, fleet managers and owner-operators can investigate available grants, programs and financing options that may improve their business practices. Traffic is picking up each month, and many already are familiar with CSS from their West Coast travels, MacDougall said. 

The CSS center provides truck operators information about how they can contribute to improvements to help North Texas reach attainment of EPA’s air quality standard. It serves as a “one-stop shop” promoting fuel efficiency in the trucking industry, providing technical assistance and information about best practices to truck operators and showcasing low-emission vehicles and EPA-approved technologies. 

Since its founding, CSS has upgraded or replaced more than 12,000 vehicles and saved operators more than 55 million gallons of diesel fuel while eliminating 1,900 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major contributor to ground-level ozone. It has also made available $60 million in grant funding and $50 million in financing. 

As part of its ongoing effort to improve regional air quality, NCTCOG provides information about federal, state and local programs that help public and private operators purchase cleaner, more efficient vehicles and equipment. Through this partnership, NCTCOG and CSS are engaging technology manufacturers, trucking fleets and owner-operators to help them become part of the solution.

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TEXpress Lanes: A New Way to Drive in D-FW

The first small segment of the TEXpress Lanes network will open over the course of the next few months, with Phase 1 of the LBJ Express Project in Dallas. This 2.3-mile segment of Interstate Highway 635, from Greenville Avenue to Hillcrest Road, will provide drivers with an idea of how the overall network will work when other major roadway projects begin to open. 

Photo: Little league baseball team on the bench; text says, "Hit ozone out of the park."

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DFW Connector
LBJ Express
North Tarrant Express
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Developed by the Texas Department of Transportation, TEXpress Lanes on projects such as the DFW Connector, the North Tarrant Express and the final segments of the LBJ Express, will change the way you drive in North Texas over the next two years. 

Once completed, these projects will provide drivers with a choice in their daily travels using North Texas roadways. Drivers can use the newly constructed general highway lanes and frontage roads in these corridors, or they can use a new state-of the-art tolling system that will allow them to travel 50 mph or more on these tolled lanes. After an initial six-month testing period, pricing on the TEXpress Lanes will be based on supply and demand, increasing and decreasing periodically to maintain that 50 mph speed threshold. 

The North Texas Tollway Authority is finalizing tolling services agreements to provide billing and related services for the LBJ Express, DFW Connector and North Tarrant Express projects. However, none of these corridors will be NTTA facilities. 

Why is a TollTag important? 

In all cases, your TollTag will allow you to use the TEXpress Lanes easily and effectively. The bill you receive for using the TEXpress Lanes will be easy to read and similar to those you receive from NTTA today. 

You must have a toll transponder to take advantage of any potential discounts that may be provided for these lanes. For instance, vehicles with two or more people (including the driver) will receive a 50 percent discount during peak hours (6:30-9 am and 3-6:30 pm weekdays). Other Texas toll transponders – the EZ Tag and TxTAG – will also work on TEXpress Lanes. Those without tags will pay through the ZipCash option.

To learn more about the projects, visit the websites listed under "Resources" above.

––– By LBJ Express


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Record Number Take Action for Clean Air

An increase in partner support helped Clean Air Action Day establish a participation record this year, with residents signing up for nearly 3,000 actions aimed at helping the region comply with the federal government’s ozone limit. After moving from July 7, which fell on a weekend last year, to the first day of summer, Clean Air Action Day experienced an unprecedented increase in participation and commitments in 2013. If you made commitments and have not registered them, remember to do so at www.airnorthtexas.org.

 

Graphic: Celebrating 5 million miles saved

And don’t stop now. Continue making those small changes for the remainder of ozone season, which concludes October 31.  

A breakdown of the most popular choices: 

Take lunch:  309  

  Drive the speed limit:  296

Combine trips:  283  

  Buy local:  260  

Avoid idling:  244

  Encourage a friend to participate:  210  

Resources
Air North Texas
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Cover

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Progress North Texas
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Annual Transportation Report Now Available

Progress North Texas 2013: Bridging Today and Tomorrow in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, which highlights improvements to the transportation system last year, is available in print and online.

This edition of NCTCOG’s annual transportation report highlights the region’s performance in the sustainability of the transportation system, quality of life, mobility and implementation, all goals of Mobility 2035. The Web version includes a slideshow of the artwork received in the “Bridging Today with Tomorrow” contest we conducted to determine the cover design.

Congratulations to Sabina Howell, whose futuristic bridge was judged the best among the entries received.Sabina, Nathan Fortune (second place) and Daniela Pineda (third place) were recognized this spring in a ceremony at their school, Strickland Middle School.

To find out how the region is doing meeting the goals of Mobility 2035, visit www.nctcog.org/ourregion. For copies of the print edition, contact Brian Wilson at bwilson@nctcog.org.   

Help Us Celebrate Our 40th Birthday

We’re turning 40, and we want you to help celebrate. Since 1974, the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department has served as the metropolitan planning organization for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

As the MPO, the Transportation Department and its policymaking body, the Regional Transportation Council, help determine how money is spent on transportation projects and programs. With the assistance of our partner cities, counties and transportation agencies, we have achieved many milestones over the past four decades. 

While we certainly have not accomplished anything alone, our progress is worth celebrating. That’s where you come in. If you have any transportation photos or stories from the last 40 years, share them with us. Email them to us at transinfo@nctcog.org

For pictures, please include your name, what the picture is of and when it was taken. We will share the best photos and stories as part of our 40th anniversary celebration throughout 2014.  

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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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