More than 600 people gathered for the Tarrant Transportation Summit Friday in Hurst.
In its 11th year, they’ve seen some things become a reality in helping traffic and they're hoping to find what’s next to help ease congestion in the DFW area.
“Transportation affects every one of us every day,” Fort Worth City Council member and mayor pro tem Jungas Jordan said.
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Finding a way to put the brakes on the growing congestion is why people gathered for the Tarrant Transportation Summit.
But it’s more than just building more roads.
“Being innovative in bringing different modes is what I think is going to be the secret to solving some of these problems,” Tarrant County Commissioner District 3 Gary Fickes said.
City and county leaders, plus private transportation businesses, heard about new innovations like 5G cellular technology that can help with traffic flow issues.
“Where automobiles talk to automobiles,” Fickes said. “Your community, your city, your traffic department public works can communicate with vehicles, with transit vehicles.”
Futuristic transit options already being tested in our area at AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone were highlighted. This includes self-driving aircraft shuttles.
“New rotorcraft aircraft that are being designed literally carrying people from DFW Airport to downtown Fort Worth and DFW Airport to downtown Dallas,” Hillwood president Mike Berry said. “And doing it in a way that’s affordable and efficient.”
Transportation solutions have been discussed in the past and become a reality from these summits. Four years ago the summit heard about just the idea of a Hyperloop. It would be a supersonic tunnel system that would allow travel more than 500 miles per hour.
“It’s the real deal,” Fickes said. “Our region is right now working to bring a test facility for Hyperloop to Texas.”
As they try to find answers to fighting traffic they’re also creating questions many will have about safety and funding.
“The current way we pay for roads is gas tax,” Jordan said. “Well, what about an electric car? If we are going to drive electric cars and autonomous cars how are we going to build highways because the tax base is not there anymore.”
One session address some of that concern showing the future of construction projects that need to be done through public-private partnerships.