The T (the Fort Worth Transportation Authority) announced at its board of directors meeting that its TEX Rail commuter rail project has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to advance to Preliminary Engineering (PE).
"This is a major milestone in the development of our commuter rail project that will provide service to thousands of riders across Tarrant County from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and into DFW Airport," said The T's president Dick Ruddell.
The approval to enter PE will allow The T to proceed with the engineering needed for construction.
An email from FTA to congressional offices stated that "FTA has received sufficient project justification and local financial commitment information from The T to determine that the project meets the eligibility criteria and all other New Starts requirements to advance into PE."
TEX Rail's 37-mile corridor with 14 stations would provide direct service to travelers into DFW Airport as well as transporting commuters and other riders to other locations across the county. TEX Rail also would be an alternative to highway travel into Fort Worth, and riders would have transfer connections from DFW Airport to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Orange Line for trips to Irving and Dallas.
FTA approval to enter PE is a requirement for transit agencies in the federal New Starts grant program. The T has commitments for a 50 percent local match of the rail's projected $758 million cost through its funding partner, the city of Grapevine, and funds committed by Tarrant County, the city of Fort Worth, the state of Texas and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.