daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Subways and Urban Transport

Subways and Urban Transport Metros, subways, light rail, trams, buses and other local transport systems



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old October 8th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #1
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Committee to push council for Light Rail in Fort Worth

image hosted on flickr


Exciting news for Fort Worth - we have a new light rail (really modern streetcar) proposal going before the council. I’ve been lucky enough to get a look at the proposal early, and I’m very excited. Below is an image I made showing all the proposed routes, based on the maps shown in the presentation. Short-term, the proposal wants to see a line from downtown to the Cultural District via 7th, downtown to TCU/Bluebonnet Circle via Fort Worth South, and a line to Texas Wesleyan. Other lines include the Trinity Uptown/Mercado/Stockyards line, the Six Points line, and an extension of the Cultural District line all the way to Ridglea Village.

The system is being called “ultra-light rail,” but it basically boils down to a modern streetcar system, such as that found in Portland. The lines would be on roads, rather than a dedicated right-of-way, and would use modern-day streetcar equipment like the Skoda-manufactured vehicles used in Portland.

Here's the proposed route map:

image hosted on flickr


And here's a great article from the Fort Worth Weekly on the proposal:

Quote:
I Can Hear That Train ...
Light rail is knocking on Fort Worth’s front door again.

By DAN MCGRAW

As any survivor of a 12-step program knows, you have to admit you have a problem before you can attack it. In Fort Worth’s case, city council members may be on the verge of admitting they have a problem (unmanageable traffic) and further accepting that that they are powerless to solve it without the help of a higher power — in this case, mass transit.

Next week, for the second time since 2001, the council will get a report, backed by considerable research, recommending that Fort Worth, at long last, join the other major cities in this country in building a light-rail system. The last time the recommendation was presented, at the conclusion of a $1 million study, it was shelved, in part because local officials feared Cowtown wasn’t sufficiently urban. Meaning that its inner city wasn’t densely developed enough to provide the riders to support such a system and to qualify it for federal funding.

After six years of rising gas prices, increasing air pollution, and construction of thousands of inner-city condos, town homes, and apartment units, that objection may be overcome.

Next week, the Fort Worth Central City Redevelopment Committee, which deals with issues relating to downtown development and infrastructure, will recommend the city invest in urban light rail. The panel wants Fort Worth to build four “ultra-light-rail” lines, trains that would run on rails built into the street and powered by overhead electric lines. And because the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (“The T”) has problems finding the money for such projects, the committee wants the city to study ways to pay for the system itself, and then turn over operations to The T once the lines are up and running.

The fact that council has given the committee time on a busy meeting agenda is significant. In the past, the only solution the city seemed to consider for the current transportation mess was to build more roads.

“Right now is the time to do this because a number of factors are coming together,” said Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, Inc., and a member of the committee. “Better mass transit options are important for future growth of the city. When you look around the country, every major city has some form of light rail to move people around the city more efficiently. We are now the 17th-largest city in the country ... and we don’t.”

The four lines recommended would stretch to all areas of the inner city. One would go out West 7th Street to the Cultural District and use Farrington Field as a park-and-ride hub. A second line would link the Hospital District with downtown, and another would go out North Main Street to the Stockyards area. The fourth line would go through the Evans/Rosedale area, ending at Texas Wesleyan University.

These initial lines would cover a modest total of about 15 miles. Modern streetcar systems generally cost about $10 million to $15 million per mile, so the cost of that starter system would total $150 million to $225 million.

In 2001, Fort Worth’s million-dollar study on the feasibility of light rail produced similar recommendations. Former Mayor Kenneth Barr was a big backer of light rail, but when he decided not to run in 2002, and Mike Moncrief was elected as his replacement, the plan was dropped. Former city staffers and council members say Moncrief lost interest after a Washington-based consultant said the Federal Transportation Authority would not back the project due to the lack of high-density development along the planned lines, meaning a lack of ridership.

Moncrief did not respond to requests for an interview about light rail.

“What has happened over the last five years is that we are now going to have the high density that the feds need,” said architect and real estate development consultant Philip Poole, who is also a member of the committee. “And when you look at all the other factors — high gas prices, traffic congestion, air pollution — this makes sense to do right now. Because we all know you cannot build roads fast enough. We need other options, especially in the inner city.”

The more intense development that may make the rail system palatable is happening most visibly to the west of downtown, but housing additions are also going up south and southeast of downtown, with another expected major boost to the north if the Trinity River Vision project comes to fruition. About 1,500 housing units are planned in and around the Cultural District in the next few years. New housing developments are also going in the Near South Side, which, with all of its hospitals, is second only to downtown in the number of jobs it provides. And even in the more depressed Evans/Rosedale area, new houses are being built on the old Masonic Home property.

“With the development going on in this city, and with the cost of land and building of roads, we can’t even keep up with it,” said real estate developer Tom Struhs. “The question is how the city handles the needed infrastructure.” The rail system “should be the highest priority on our list right now,” he said. Considering the amount of time people spend in their cars and the long lead time needed for new roads, “Well, all of these things point to the exact same thing,” he said, “and that is better mass transit.”

Of course, funding such a project is the great problem. The T has put its limited money into a commuter rail line that will run from southwest Fort Worth through downtown, north to Grapevine, and then into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The train would run on the old Cotton Belt freight tracks and cost about $390 million. The T officials are asking the federal government to cover about half of that.

Dick Rudell, general manager of The T, acknowledged that Fort Worth and his agency could end up in competition for federal dollars. Nonetheless, he sees the need for inner-city light rail. “We will cooperate with the city in any way we can,” he said.

The report suggests a number of funding options. One would be tax-increment financing districts, in which future property tax growth near rail lines would be used to pay off bonds. The city of Portland, Ore., build a light-rail line five years ago with a downtown parking tax, where a dollar of each parking fee went to pay for the rail system. The committee is also recommending that the city start applying for state and federal funding that could pay half the cost. Members of the committee also want the city council to consider using some of the Barnett Shale gas drilling money to pay for what they consider a “legacy” project.

The city council seems more receptive to the idea of a light rail system than it has been in the past. Council member Kathleen Hicks said she would support it. “When I go elsewhere, I see such good transportation options, and I just don’t see it here ... . We’ve got to find other sources to get people around, and I believe people would utilize this.” She agreed that using Barnett Shale money for light rail should be considered.

Some council members still want further study. “We are going to have dense concentration of development, and we obviously need to look at light rail within the city,” Jungus Jordan said. “What we need to do is look at a host of transportation options and the attributes of different systems.”

Council member Chuck Silcox is worried about spending money on light rail when the city has a $1.7 billion backlog of road projects. “I’m not a big fan of light rail using trolleys. The congestion is happening from people outside of Loop 820 coming into the downtown area. If we are going to invest in rail mass transit, I think those would be the areas we should concentrate on, because that will get people out of their cars,” he said. “But I agree that we have to look at other alternatives besides just building more roads.

Paine, from Fort Worth South, agreed. He said the purpose of the report is to get the city to recognize the need, and the funding will follow. “The first step is to articulate a requirement,” he said. “If you accept that this is a requirement, then you figure out how to fund it.”
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old October 8th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #2
dwdwone
Subway Dave
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 569
Likes (Received): 39

Sadly, I feel this is just a pipe dream. I have lived in Fort Worth for many years, and in the Dallas Fort Worth area for almost 30 years. I have watched DART struggle and fall on its face in Dallas before becoming a world class, award winning system. And Fort Worth is starting out by repeating Darts's earlier mistakes.

I can think of dozens of explanations on why this proposal is politically impractical, but instead I'm going to focus on the positive. The only way, in the current environment, a system is going to work is by following in the footsteps of Charlotte and other southern cities like Little Rock. Simply put, Fort Worth should introduced a heritage trolley line with the specific vision of later conversion to light rail. Advocates would also be advised to integrate the proposed routes with the approved and soon to come commuter lines to be built and managed by the Trinity Railway Express (The T).

Finally, let me mention the old Fort Worth subway which closed in September 2002. This could be resurrected at litttle cost and then we'd have a REAL system. I'm just don't believe Fort Worth residents know what they want. Which again is why a small. started heritage streetcar would be the disarming, non threatening way to go. Just the proposal of a 4 line ULRT system will be enough to waste a lot of money on nothing.
dwdwone no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2007, 11:46 PM   #3
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdwone View Post
I can think of dozens of explanations on why this proposal is politically impractical, but instead I'm going to focus on the positive. The only way, in the current environment, a system is going to work is by following in the footsteps of Charlotte and other southern cities like Little Rock. Simply put, Fort Worth should introduced a heritage trolley line with the specific vision of later conversion to light rail. Advocates would also be advised to integrate the proposed routes with the approved and soon to come commuter lines to be built and managed by the Trinity Railway Express (The T).

Finally, let me mention the old Fort Worth subway which closed in September 2002. This could be resurrected at litttle cost and then we'd have a REAL system. I'm just don't believe Fort Worth residents know what they want. Which again is why a small. started heritage streetcar would be the disarming, non threatening way to go. Just the proposal of a 4 line ULRT system will be enough to waste a lot of money on nothing.
Well, I'm more hopeful.

The political climate is changing in favor of this. I already know that many of the current council supports the proposal (the biggest stick-in-the-mud is Chuck Silcox, as usual). Privately, I've been hearing very positive things this time around from some very influential people. Fort Worthians are changing, as well. A Star-Telegram poll finds a majority of citizens supports sales tax increases for rail transit. Funding is the biggest hurdle for this, but then there's the Barnett Shale money (among many other alternatives)...

The city's changing as well. We are quickly densifying, and attracting new residents to the city core. 7th Street alone will be completely unrecognizable by this time next year with all the mixed-use developments. Several of them are pushing for this - I know the Museum Place people have already planned support for a light rail stop in their development.

As for a heritage system, I think that would be the biggest mistake we could make at this point. We have to show that this is a serious transit system, not a touristy diversion. The city wants to use the modern cars, as does the committee. The old subway was no real transit solution - going from a parking lot to the Tandy Center (which is being radically changed) isn't my idea of a good start. It could have been expanded, but it would have been ludicrously expensive given the amount of bedrock under downtown Fort Worth.

I'm pushing hard for this, and a lot of other people are as well. I know several people on the committee, and they've done a great deal of work on this. I hope it will not be for nothing.
__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #4
RawLee
Registered User
 
RawLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Budapest
Posts: 9,447
Likes (Received): 1083

Why are the blue and purple lines not connected?
RawLee no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #5
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by RawLee View Post
Why are the blue and purple lines not connected?
Because this was just my quickie homemade map.

Really, everything in downtown would be connected. I was just doing this quickly in Google Earth off the presentation maps, so it's not perfectly elegant or anything.
__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2007, 04:31 AM   #6
dwdwone
Subway Dave
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 569
Likes (Received): 39

I hope you'er right but I'm a bit more cycnical, especially when it comes to politics. Remember also that our property taxes are (to my understanding) some of the highest in the state, and I can't see people being willing to pay any more for anything. That's why I said we should try to "slip one by" like they did in Charlotte and Little Rock. A relatively inexpensive heritage tramway and our citizens wouldn't "feel" like they are voting in Son Of Dart. Modern Portland-like vehicles could be added and then rather than get a new system, an upgrade and a few minor extensions would get us our first light rail line.

Also, I still see a lot of the mindset of "OK, but not in my back yard". The only saving grace with this plan is that it would run through very few back yards. Finally, I also see a lot of resistance from the population if they perceive this as a Dallas-like light rail, because many in Fort Worth take a certain pride in the small town atmosphere enjoyed here as opposed to the air of our sister city. Some may see light rail as threatening this lifestyle. Then again, with the Riover project and the renewed downtown development, these people may be fewer than I perceive.

I'm not at all against this idea. Quite the opposite. I grew up in New York City where it was a real pleasure to be able to get on the subway and travel to the beach, the museum, even into a different state (Newark) with such ease. I just want a system that the citizens will buy. If there is too much opposition, well, I don't think we can count on the politicians standing their ground on this if they do believe in it that much. I also remember seeing how things went in Dallas (among other Texas cities) which offered multi line systems. When things were scaled down to a less Texas-like size, such as in Houston, things suddenly got done. It only took, what. 40 years?

Last edited by dwdwone; October 9th, 2007 at 04:37 AM.
dwdwone no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #7
ssiguy2
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 5,404
Likes (Received): 857

How big is Fort Worth?
What is the downtown population and how fast is it growing?
ssiguy2 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #8
FM 2258
Registered User
 
FM 2258's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Austin
Posts: 5,438
Likes (Received): 612

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdwone View Post
Sadly, I feel this is just a pipe dream. I have lived in Fort Worth for many years, and in the Dallas Fort Worth area for almost 30 years. I have watched DART struggle and fall on its face in Dallas before becoming a world class, award winning system. And Fort Worth is starting out by repeating Darts's earlier mistakes.

I can think of dozens of explanations on why this proposal is politically impractical, but instead I'm going to focus on the positive. The only way, in the current environment, a system is going to work is by following in the footsteps of Charlotte and other southern cities like Little Rock. Simply put, Fort Worth should introduced a heritage trolley line with the specific vision of later conversion to light rail. Advocates would also be advised to integrate the proposed routes with the approved and soon to come commuter lines to be built and managed by the Trinity Railway Express (The T).

Finally, let me mention the old Fort Worth subway which closed in September 2002. This could be resurrected at litttle cost and then we'd have a REAL system. I'm just don't believe Fort Worth residents know what they want. Which again is why a small. started heritage streetcar would be the disarming, non threatening way to go. Just the proposal of a 4 line ULRT system will be enough to waste a lot of money on nothing.

I've always wondered about the DART train in Dallas. Who takes the train and why would someone who lives more than two blocks away take it? I like the idea of light rail but I'm not really sure how it works in Texas cities. Austin is getting a light rail line but it makes no sense for me to take it. My the time I drive to the station, ride the rails and take the bus from there I could have continued driving without wasting more time waiting for the train and bus.
FM 2258 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #9
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

I've got word back from one of the committee members - he is very encouraged by the response from yesterday's presentation. The entire council is in favor of putting the design and funding questions back on their official agenda. Mayor Moncrief's biggest concern was funding, but it sounds like even he seems more supportive after the committee's stressing that the streetcar project would not compete with the TRE and its dollars, but rather help strengthen it even more as a fully integraged transit system.

Whatever the outcome, light rail is now back in the city's sights. That alone is a big step forward after the abandonment of the original plan in 2001.
__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #10
Xusein
 
Xusein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 26,174
Likes (Received): 10394

Sorry if I sound uneducated about the whole thing, but are there any plans at the moment to connect this system to Dallas' DART system?
Xusein no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #11
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenRot View Post
Sorry if I sound uneducated about the whole thing, but are there any plans at the moment to connect this system to Dallas' DART system?

Probably not at the moment. Downtown Fort Worth and Downtown Dallas are about 30 miles apart, so the primary connection for now comes in the form of the Trinity Railway Express commuter train.
__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #12
Xusein
 
Xusein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 26,174
Likes (Received): 10394

Thanks for the info!
Xusein no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #13
RawLee
Registered User
 
RawLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Budapest
Posts: 9,447
Likes (Received): 1083

Whats that monster before/below the passenger cars??? We use such things for freight transport.
RawLee no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #14
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by RawLee View Post
Whats that monster before/below the passenger cars??? We use such things for freight transport.
That image shows two of the three primary TRE engines. The top cars are not really just passenger cars - they are Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs), self-powered rail cars used for lighter midday service. The primary TRE trains are the "monsters" - EMD F59PH and F59PHI engines pulling Bombardier bi-level passenger cars.

The train in the bottom of that photo is an F59PH, the older of the two and the most commonly seen on the TRE. The F59PHI is a streamlined, updated version seen here pulling in to the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Fort Worth:

__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #15
RawLee
Registered User
 
RawLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Budapest
Posts: 9,447
Likes (Received): 1083

Looks nice! Whats the gauge?
RawLee no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #16
Fort Worthology
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 34
Likes (Received): 0

Somebody asked me about the frequency of stops, and I have an answer. The stops will be approx. 1/4 mile apart from each other, so they fall into the standard "five minute ped-shed," the five-minute walk that daily needs and transit should ideally be located within. The stops are at curb edge, with low threshold handicap boarding and serviced at a bus-like shelter.

I've also been told that the Portland streetcar specifically is the model for the Fort Worth one.
__________________
Kevin Buchanan
Fort Worthology - Promoting Fort Worth's urban revolution.
Fort Worthology no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #17
TexasBoi
Texas-NoVA
 
TexasBoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NoVA
Posts: 2,259
Likes (Received): 33

Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I've always wondered about the DART train in Dallas. Who takes the train and why would someone who lives more than two blocks away take it? I like the idea of light rail but I'm not really sure how it works in Texas cities. Austin is getting a light rail line but it makes no sense for me to take it. My the time I drive to the station, ride the rails and take the bus from there I could have continued driving without wasting more time waiting for the train and bus.
Who takes the train? Ride the DART and see who takes it. It is well known that the parking lots in the suburbs are filled up quickly in the mornings before the morning rush. The train is filled to capacity each morning and evening. It's also used heavily on Friday and Saturday Nights and will be used even more when the new line opens at Deep Ellum and Fair Park. Not to mention when Victory park becomes a regular full serviced station instead of a special events station. The Light rail is one of the most successful systems in the US if not the world.

With gas prices going up, ridership numbers is going up.
TexasBoi no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #18
ssiguy2
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 5,404
Likes (Received): 857

Again, how big is Fort Worth?
ssiguy2 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2007, 08:14 PM   #19
dwdwone
Subway Dave
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 569
Likes (Received): 39

Any word on what the council said about this project?
dwdwone no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2015, 07:59 AM   #20
JJG
Registered User
 
JJG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 3,435
Likes (Received): 1061

FORT WORTH | Public Transport

Before I post anything, I feel that I have to mention that even though there is a thread for Dallas... this isn't Dallas. Fort Worth has and have had for a long time its own public transportation that's growing as we speak. So this is a thread specifically for the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, a.k.a., "The T".

__________________

mrsmartman, dimlys1994, geometarkv liked this post
JJG no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium