TX: ‘Next generation’ transit planning for North Texas moves forward

Feb. 23, 2024
The council’s executive board approved $2.2 million worth of contracts to consultants McKinsey & Company and InfraStrategies LLC to help design a transit system that serves residents who will live outside existing transit authority service areas in the future.

A study exploring crucial transportation investments needed to plan for growth in D-FW is moving ahead, The North Central Texas Council of Governments announced Wednesday.

The council’s executive board approved $2.2 million worth of contracts to consultants McKinsey & Company and InfraStrategies LLC to help design a transit system that serves residents who will live outside existing transit authority service areas in the future. The area population is forecast to grow to more than 11 million by 2045 and bring an additional three million jobs.

“This substantial growth will compound a seemingly insatiable demand for passenger and goods movement that has already exacerbated the limited capacity of the region’s streets and highways,” a request for proposals document created by the council reads. “Much of the regional growth is forecast to occur outside of transit authority boundaries, presenting challenges related to congestion, sustainable development, and lack of alternative transportation options beyond the single-occupant vehicle.”

Dubbed “Regional Transit 2.0,” the study is aimed at supporting sustainable development throughout the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth region and serving cities that lack the sales tax capacity to join Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Denton County Transportation Authority or Trinity Metro in Fort Worth.

Thirteen DART member cities pay a one-cent sales tax to belong to the transit authority, while Denton, Highland Village and Lewisville pay a half-cent tax to DCTA. Fort Worth and Blue Mound pay a half-cent sales tax to support Trinity Metro, and Grapevine and North Richland Hills support the TEXRail commuter service.

Consultants will develop a transit legislative program, create strategies to increase transit authority membership, develop collaborations between existing transit authorities and review fare collection strategies. The plan will also explore how to substantially fund public transportation and incentivize people and companies to locate where multiple forms of transportation are available.

The study is in response to a letter from the mayors of 12 Dallas-Fort Worth area cities and the chair of Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition requesting the Regional Transportation Council explore how public transportation can evolve to meet the needs of the area.

“As member cities of a transit authority, we acknowledge and embrace that the growth of the region requires an efficient transit solution in order to provide predictable, cost-effective, and reliable mobility for residents and businesses,” the letter reads. “We believe a comprehensive study is needed to assess the effectiveness of regional transit today and what regional transit should look like for the next 40 years.”

The initiative would strengthen the partnership between existing transit authorities through opportunities for service coordination and other measures to enhance customer experiences.

“Through close coordination, Dallas-Fort Worth has established a world-class transportation system that gives residents multiple options for how to move around the region,” said NCTCOG director of transportation Michael Morris. “Transit 2.0 can ensure as we continue to grow in the coming decades, we are safely and efficiently connecting people to where they live, work and play.”

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