You Can Help Shape the Future of Public Transit in Fort Worth

You have a chance to share your opinion on the future of transit in Fort Worth.

Wednesday night is one of your last chances to help transit leaders come up with a plan to make some major changes to public transportation in the next 25 years.

Right now, only five out of 46 bus routes in Fort Worth have service every 10 to 15 minutes.

For the rest, you'll be waiting 30 minutes to an hour for the next bus.

To put that into perspective, Fort Worth is now the 13th largest city in the country so to keep up with the changing population and infrastructure, the city leaders say they have make some major changes.

"Really, the transit system in Fort Worth is dated and it needs to be improved. And some of those improvements are frequency of service and where the service is located," said Chad Edwards, the chief Regional Mobility and Innovation Officer for the City of Fort Worth. "That's what our study is trying to do, is identify those frequency options and where the service goes."

The City of Fort Worth partnered with Trinity Metro on a massive study to determine which direction they need to go in improving public transportation. They've broken down their presentation into three potential scenarios.

Scenario 1: Incremental Improvements

The first scenario looks at small improvements to the existing transit system such as adding and expanding bus routes.

Scenario 2: Aspirational Outlook

The second scenario goes a little further, with more investment and adding more service for longer hours on bus or commuter rail.

Scenario 3: Visionary City

The third scenario goes all the way to develop an extensive plan on improving transit, such as establishing the city's own light rail service and get more people out of their cars. This one costs the most, but involves the most significant changes.

Edwards said public input will help the city determine which needs and improvements from each scenario should be focused on. He added frequency of service might be one of the first update you'll see in the coming years.

"That's one of the ones that we hearing a lot about, is that the bus doesn't come around as often as it should," Edwards said. "'It's hard for me to plan my day around a bus that's on a 60 minute headway,' If I can help those people, and reduce the headway from 60 minutes to 30 minutes or even 15 minutes, that gives those people the opportunity to utilize transit on a more frequent basis," he said.

After the meetings wrap up in early- to mid-December, Transit Moves Fort Worth will compile the data, determine a recommendation, and present that to city council — with more public meetings planned in 2020.

Edwards stresses this will be on-going process to find the most suitable path for the future of transit in Fort Worth.

"What we're trying to do is give a graduated scale if you will, of how these improvements can be implemented between now and 2045," said Edwards. "It's a long time, 25 years, but it's an opportunity for us to identify recommendations now from each of those scenarios and implement them going forward."

A public meeting will be held Wednesday night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Shamblee Library on Evans Avenue in Fort Worth.

They are also once again rolling out their mobile transit survey bus at TCC South at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and on Thursday at the TCC Opportunity Center. The bus contains a digital presentation, survey tablets and an opportunity to learn more about each scenario.

If you can't attend the meetings, you can also learn more about the Transit Improvement Scenarios and take the survey by clicking here.

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