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Trinity Metro Needs Funding the Forth Worth City Council Doesn't Want to Give
Gordon Dickson and Luke Ranker report from Fort Worth, where a debate about the future of the city's transportation system is coming down to brass tacks:
Fort Worth city leaders agree that the city needs better passenger trains, buses and other transit services.
But the cost is giving them sticker shock.
The debate is coming after Trinity Metro, the transit agency for the western half of Dallas-Fort Worth, requested $86.1 million from Fort Worth for capital improvements during the coming year.
"Much of the money — about $61.1 million — would be used to extend the TEXRail commuter line about two miles south to the medical district, and the remainder would be needed to build a new bus rapid transit system on the city’s east side," according to the article.
The article details the political debate about the cost of Trinity metro's request, and its value to the city of Fort Worth. For instance, Councilmember Cary Moon is quoted saying, "I think both of these are important,” referring to the TEXRail station and the planned rapid bus line on East Lancaster Avenue. “It’s not worth increasing taxes at this time,” Moon continued.
On the other side of the issue is Jeff Davis, board chairperson for Trinity Metro. “At some point, we have to a make decision in Fort Worth about what we want,” Davis is quoted saying in the article. “Do we want to have better transit and to become a better city, or do we want to continue being a bedroom suburb of Dallas?”
The TEXRail project already has $58.9 million in funding from the federal government in hand, if Trinity Metro can come up with a local match.
The remaining $25 million of the funding request would be used to "to expand rapid bus service that would run along East Lancaster Avenue, from near the city’s downtown area to the historic Handley neighborhood in far east Fort Worth, near Arlington," according to Dickson and Ranker.