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The T's new Master Plan


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#1 fortworthhorn

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:20 AM

I thought this deserved its own thread.  I went to the T's meeting yesterday where they presented their updated plan.  This was helped by the consultants Nelson/Nygaard.  The final plan will be unveiled in January 2016.

Here are my notes.  I apologize for any inaccuracies as there was a lot of info thrown out.  

 

1)  This plan has not been presented to Fort Worth City Council yet.

2)  Real time bus info will be available within this year.  It also sounded like there would be new system maps.  I heard the date of May 2016 thrown out, but I am not entirely sure if it relates to this.

3)  They want to expand service to a broader area of Tarrant County.

4)  They want premium services in high demand areas.  Premium could be something like the Spur.

5)  They want a frequent service network (early morning/late night) to the biggest destinations.  Frequent service would be every 10-15 minutes at peak times and 15-30 minutes the rest of the day.  18 hours of service.  More weekend service.

6)  They want to reach beyond 820.

7)  Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - build on the Spur.

8)  Better passenger facilities.

9)  Improving first mile/last mile connections (Uber/Lyft).

10)  Rebranding of the T - This would be one of my big takeaways.  The T image is poor and it sounds like there will be a serious effort to do a rebrand of some sort.

 

There was talk of streetcars and light rail.  Obviously that is what a lot of us would like.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on which side of the issue you are on, that is most likely not going to happen because of the political climate.  I also would not expect the Southwest portion of TexRail to be built anytime soon.  I am sure they will put up documents to download on the website soon that will contain all the specifics along with maps showing the proposed routes that would have their frequencies increased.  From what I saw on the maps there, it looked like all the big transit corridors were taken care of.  



#2 RD Milhollin

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:44 AM

Since The T (yeah, needs a better name and image...) is part-owner of the TRE I would like to see More frequent and Sunday service on that line, also some effort toward initiating express trains with stops only at end-points and DFW Airport/Centerport. Is there going to be a special Pitch to NRH and Haltom City to put t in bus service to serve the planned TexRail stations there? Bus Rapid Transit could be a stepping stone for eventual light rail if new routes were developed with bridges suitable for future rail built over obstacles like busy streets and freight rail tracks. Discussions with the freight rail companies need to start now for ROW for a future commuter rail route to the Alliance area, the Southeast Side and to the Far-Far Westside. Tracks are there already... but these sorts of talks seem to take The T about 10 years to complete. ROW talks with the power line operators to the northwest needs to start up as well, it is only a matter time, if trends continue, before large developments in the Eagle Mountain/SE Wise County area start up. This corridor would be a great place to use the BRT-then-Rail model.



#3 fortworthhorn

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:25 AM

Since The T (yeah, needs a better name and image...) is part-owner of the TRE I would like to see More frequent and Sunday service on that line, also some effort toward initiating express trains with stops only at end-points and DFW Airport/Centerport. Is there going to be a special Pitch to NRH and Haltom City to put t in bus service to serve the planned TexRail stations there? Bus Rapid Transit could be a stepping stone for eventual light rail if new routes were developed with bridges suitable for future rail built over obstacles like busy streets and freight rail tracks. Discussions with the freight rail companies need to start now for ROW for a future commuter rail route to the Alliance area, the Southeast Side and to the Far-Far Westside. Tracks are there already... but these sorts of talks seem to take The T about 10 years to complete. ROW talks with the power line operators to the northwest needs to start up as well, it is only a matter time, if trends continue, before large developments in the Eagle Mountain/SE Wise County area start up. This corridor would be a great place to use the BRT-then-Rail model.

Unfortunately, I have kind of come to the realization that I will probably be in a nursing home before some of this happens.



#4 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 07:32 PM

I spoke with someone who works at The T when project bus came to my campus. Hopefully The T can get more funding to fulfill these ideas.


- Dylan


#5 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 12:14 AM

Here's what transit in Tarrant County could look like if The T were to receive more money and sign on more member cities: http://www.tmasterpl...List-160125.pdf

 

There appears to be some gaps in coverage, but the note box says some "local" routes weren't shown. A few things worth mentioning:

 

- A new TRE Station may be built in far northern Arlington at Collins St.

- Haltom City station is no longer part of the plan for TEX Rail. It's missing from the current TEX Rail map as well.

- Route 2 BRT follows Camp Bowie westbound before turning north on Alta Mere Dr. to Ridgmar Mall (like the current route 2). Then, route 2 BRT heads west before curving down to Camp Bowie again. Personally, I think this BRT route should follow Camp Bowie all the way west to Chapel Creek without diverting north to Ridmar Mall. Keep in mind BRT is supposed to act exactly like light rail (with train stations and dedicated lanes), not like a regular bus route.

- There is a Fort Worth-Alliance-Denton bus route listed as "express" route 59. This is something I've been asking for, but I'm a little concerned. The following PDF implies express routes will only run during rush hour (page 44/45 and 56). I hope they will consider midday and evening service as well.

 

Here's a PDF that talks more about the plan and it's components: http://www.tmasterpl...port-160127.pdf


- Dylan


#6 Electricron

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:24 AM

I'll agree with you that BRT should be ran straight along a corridor, If getting to Rigmar Mall is necessary, maybe another BRT along Alta Mere, let's say from CampBowie all the way to North Main Street and the Stockyards. ;) 

With higher frequencies and larger buses, riders might not object as much to a transfer. :)



#7 Austin55

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:45 AM

Streetcars from downtown to Magnolia, the Cultural District, Stockyards AND Six Points is an exciting proposal as well :)



#8 johnfwd

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:48 AM

This is a large order for completion in the next five years, but at least its wise, long-range planning.



#9 fortworthhorn

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for posting!



#10 Volare

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 02:35 PM

Sunset the CCPD. Without addressing this (and it's not addressed in the document directly) this whole thing is a pipe dream. It has nearly as much worth as the plans I have for what I'll do with the $100 million Powerball that I'm going to win this weekend. Remember, Fort Worth has a Bike Plan too!



#11 Jimmy

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 02:43 PM

Where do you think BRT falls on the spectrum between "basically just nicer bus stops" and "the usefulness and charm of light rail without the infrastructure costs" ?



#12 Russ Graham

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 03:20 PM

Sunset the CCPD.

 

Except, they (the T) aren't currently spending the revenue they are receiving.  If I'm reading their financial statement correctly (which is a stretch since I'm not a financial type) they are taking in $66 million in sales tax, and running a $22 million surplus.  So the demand should be to spend the tax money on the desired improvements, rather than running surpluses and stuffing money under mattresses.



#13 JBB

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:05 PM

Just a guess, but isn't the surplus being used for Tex Rail?

#14 Electricron

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 01:20 AM

Just a guess, but isn't the surplus being used for Tex Rail?

Yes, the surplus will be used by FWTA to build and operate TexRail. 



#15 Russ Graham

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 05:55 AM

The point is, with the budget they have, they could choose to serve Fort Worth much better with more frequent bus service and even local streetcars. They have $80 million in the bank. Yet they claim "service lags for lack of funding". The answer should be that we can't afford TEX because that money has been spent on local transportation within the city. Spend the money now on the system the city needs and can afford.

#16 Austin55

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:58 AM

ST has a large spread on the new plan in the paper today.

#17 Austin55

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:24 PM

Some info on the DTFW-Denton route.

 

 

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA), in cooperation with the Denton County Transportation Authority, is proposing to provide bus service from the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Fort Worth to the University of North Texas in Denton on weekdays. An additional stop would be made at FWTA’s North Park-n-Ride at 10157 North Freeway where up to 200 parking spaces are available for commuters. Buses would operate between about 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. with trips departing every 90 minutes.

 

Service could start late September. Public meetings will happen, here's a link (where the above quote is sourced) with more info on the meetings (PDF) . http://www.fwta.org/...ept16_final.pdf

 

My thought- 90 minutes is certainly a long wait between trips, but it is nice to see it will run more than just rush hours as Peopleisstrange commented on earlier.



#18 johnfwd

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 07:36 AM

The bus service itself would be just fine for UNT students and faculty if it were not for the fact that ingress and egress on I35W from downtown Fort Worth at most times of the day is traffic congested.  I suppose riders won't mind since they're not at the wheel.



#19 Jeriat

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 01:43 PM

I'd rather it be that Alliance-Cleburne line (extended to Denton) 


7fwPZnE.png

 

8643298391_d47584a085_b.jpg


#20 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 09:22 PM

The bus service itself would be just fine for UNT students and faculty if it were not for the fact that ingress and egress on I35W from downtown Fort Worth at most times of the day is traffic congested.  I suppose riders won't mind since they're not at the wheel.

 

Traffic is rarely congested north of Alliance. Sure, rail would be ideal, but look at how long it's taking TEX Rail to begin construction.

 

Bus service can begin as soon as they purchase new busses (or reallocate existing busses).

 

--------------------

 

I'm very glad to hear this Fort Worth to Denton route is finally happening. :)


- Dylan


#21 fortworthhorn

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 09:44 PM

The bus service itself would be just fine for UNT students and faculty if it were not for the fact that ingress and egress on I35W from downtown Fort Worth at most times of the day is traffic congested.  I suppose riders won't mind since they're not at the wheel.

At the meeting tonight, it sounded like they would be using the Express lanes when those are open.  



#22 Volare

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:30 PM

Pretty extensive cover story in the FW Weekly containing quotes from Kevin Buchanan. Surprised that it wasn't already mentioned on here:

 

http://www.fwweekly....transit-future/



#23 fortworthhorn

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 03:10 PM

Pretty extensive cover story in the FW Weekly containing quotes from Kevin Buchanan. Surprised that it wasn't already mentioned on here:

 

http://www.fwweekly....transit-future/

Thanks for posting that.



#24 JBB

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 03:22 PM

I haven't finished reading it, but I love the mayor's quote about not being able to pour enough concrete. It highlights the middle ground in this issue. Sure, you can't fix everything with mass transit, but you can't do it with more lanes either.

#25 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:21 PM

At the end of the article, Kevin Buchanan criticised minimum parking requirements. As a transit supporter, I disagree.

 

Unfortunately, our transit system isn't good enough to support everyone who currently drives, and many people who currently drive to central Fort Worth wouldn't visit central Fort Worth if driving wasn't an option.

 

As of now, not enough people live in (or take transit to) central Fort Worth to support it without people who drive in from suburbs.


- Dylan


#26 JBB

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 09:02 PM

Again, middle ground.  If the measuring stick is designing a transit system to support everyone who currently drives, failure is the only option.

 

Softening the minimum parking requirements in the urban core would be the type of compromise that makes sense.  The city needs to start thinking in terms of structuring development that brings developers and residents to call for more transit options.



#27 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:09 PM

I agree with the first part, but transit options need to improve before we consider softening minimum parking requirements.

 

In the article, it sounded like Kevin wants to do away with minimum parking requirements.


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#28 JBB

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 08:50 AM

I can't speak for what Kevin is calling for, but even getting rid of parking requirements is not going to mean that developers will suddenly stop including parking. They're still going to include parking as the market dictates. I don't know enough about the requirements to say definitively, but if there is some crazy 1 unit/1 resident to 1 space ratio that is far beyond what developer projections are calling for, then I think it's worth seeing how they can be softened. Especially if it is killing quality development ("killing" is probably a strong word and I think the amount of development around town shows that's not happening).

#29 mmmdan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 11:10 AM

Minimum parking requirements force developers to put in as many spaces as the code dictates, not how many are actually needed.  For retail it's based on the number of spots anticipated to be needed on the busiest shopping day of the year.  For residential it assumes every body in that home will be driving a car.

 

Completely random example:

If someone wants to build a store and thinks they will do just fine with only 3 or 4 spaces, the code might require them to have 10.  Now that they have to have 10 spaces, there might be more land used for parking than the actual store.  It might even be more land than is available.  Now you've gone from having a nice little neighborhood store to having nothing.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the convenience store that my family owned or several others in my hometown would not be able to be built with today's regulations.  Granted, it's small town USA, but it did well enough to support my grandparents for 25+ years and my uncle for a decade after that before he sold it to someone else.  https://www.google.c...!7i13312!8i6656

 

http://www.strongtowns.org/parking



#30 fortworthhorn

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:47 PM

Completely random example:

If someone wants to build a store and thinks they will do just fine with only 3 or 4 spaces, the code might require them to have 10.  Now that they have to have 10 spaces, there might be more land used for parking than the actual store.  It might even be more land than is available.  Now you've gone from having a nice little neighborhood store to having nothing.

 

Key point there.  Thank you for posting that.  And in FW, that usually means a giant above ground garage.  We have to be competitive on the amount of parking garages against the rest of the country in terms of scale.



#31 Volare

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 04:35 PM

Another fantastic article from the FW Weekly:

 

http://www.fwweekly....east-lancaster/

 

Given what happened the last time we got a $25 million TIGER grant, I'd have to say our chances of getting this one can't be very good. 

 

The cynic in me wonders who has been buying land lately along this corridor if there is this sudden interest in pursing another TIGER.



#32 Austin55

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:31 PM

The T will launch it's new bus routes in the north part of town on April 9th. One of the most notable changes is the elimination of route 1N, which is being replaced by route 15. This route is the downtown - stockyards connecter. The Saturday only Molly shuttle will be shut down as replaced by this route as well.

Here's the new map and explained new routes and changes to existing ones http://the-t.com/north

#33 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:28 PM

Wow, finally- a normal fixed bus route that extends north of Loop 820! It's long past time for that. As of now, every bus that extends north of Loop 820 is an express bus that runs along 35. One of those routes (route 62) runs only *once* a day in each direction.

 

As for the new route 15, I'd consider it a rebranding of route 1N instead of an expansion of the current route 15. The current route 15 is exclusively a Saturday-only Stockyards tourist shuttle.


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#34 Austin55

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:21 PM

The T is also looking into a Cultural District <-> Downtown circulator. Seems like it would be primarily a tourist shuttle, but I could see residents of either location using it (especially downtown residents using the grocery options along West 7th). There really is a lot of development and density along this line. The route would also be the first to run down 4th street adjacent to Sundance Plaza, significant because many of the best public plazas worldwide have direct transit connections. I would assume it will operate similar to the soon-to-be defunct route 15 which is the Saturday stockyards<->downtown shuttle. Route 15 costs $1.75 and runs every 30 minutes. I'd hope this new route would run with more frequency, at least every 15. Molly runs every 10 minutes and is free.

 

TPiFgHY.png



#35 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:02 AM

A few of my thoughts on this proposed line:

 

I'm surprised they don't have this line stopping at the ITC for commuter rail transfers. Tourists might not be happy about walking a few blocks to transfer.

 

From what I can tell, this line will be stopping at traditional bus stops. If that's the case, I'm not sure how this will be better than the existing route 2 during daytime hours unless it comes with a higher frequency. During the evening, this will be a good thing if it maintains a high frequency and runs late, as route 2 frequency dramatically declines in the evening.

 

Part of the appeal of streetcars is how they stop at level-boarding stations. When you're on a modern streetcar, light rail, or commuter train, stations are announced in advance (example: "now arriving... Richland Hills"). If this line uses normal bus stops, I'm doubtful stops will be announced as stations.

 

EDIT: In short, I'd like to see this shuttle act like a streetcar.


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#36 JBB

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:41 AM

They could transfer to the downtown circulator to get to the ITC, right? Even if that's possible, it would have made more sense to adjust the route by a few blocks.

#37 renamerusk

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:55 AM

A few of my thoughts on this proposed line:

 

I'm surprised they don't have this line stopping at the ITC for commuter rail transfers. Tourists might not be happy about walking a few blocks to transfer........

 

 

They could transfer to the downtown circulator to get to the ITC, right?.....

 

 An idea that I have suggested in the past is to build a second ITC that would be located in the Northwest Quadrant of Downtown; with a Downtown Circular route to connect the two centers.



#38 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 06:28 PM

That would require two transfers to get from the existing ITC to the cultural district instead of one.


- Dylan


#39 Austin55

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 06:47 PM

I was shocked to learn today that El Paso's bus system has Fort Worth's beat in nearly every way (ridership, hubs, fleet size, stops, routes). Curious, I looked more in depth and found a website called Metro Magazine which lists the 100 largest bus systems by fleet size in the US and Canada. 

Fort Worth came in 97th. 

 

97th!

Fort Worth (pop. 812k) is between Flint (99k) and London Ontario (383k)

 

See the full list 3 paragraphs down here.



#40 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:44 PM

The above list may be a bit deceiptful. It's based on number of busses in the fleet, not the amount of ridership or reach of the system.

 

That said, Fort Worth's bus system *is* woefully undersized for such a large city. We finally got a normal bus route north of Loop 820 last month, and the suburbs refuse to participate.


- Dylan


#41 Austin55

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

The above list may be a bit deceiptful. It's based on number of busses in the fleet, not the amount of ridership or reach of the system.

 

That said, Fort Worth's bus system *is* woefully undersized for such a large city. We finally got a normal bus route north of Loop 820 last month, and the suburbs refuse to participate.

 

It's ludicrous a city with a 5 figure population has a nearly identical sized fleet than a city approaching a 7 figure population. 

 

As far as ridership, the T's buses average 27k on weekdays, 16k on Saturday's and 7k on Sunday.  Flint's daily ridership is 19k. 



#42 rriojas71

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:51 PM

This is a car-centric region of the country. Most people here look down on those who ride buses as people who can't afford a vehicle. Also the city is not laid out to have an effective bus system (because things are so spread out with huge parking lots everywhere) and the hot summers make riding a bus a horrible experience. Many bus stops have inadequate or even no form of shelter to account for inclement weather or extremely hot sunny days.

#43 renamerusk

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 07:16 AM

This is a car-centric region of the country....

 

You assessment rings true.

 

Not only is Fort Worth apart of a relatively wealthy county, it is also a city that spreads out to far flung areas.



#44 Doohickie

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:25 AM

The handful of times I've looked at riding the bus, I've been shocked at transit times between my neighborhood south of the loop, and downtown.  The 10-mile trip can take an hour and a half.  I can ride it on a bicycle in far less time.


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#45 renamerusk

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:00 AM

The above list may be a bit deceiptful. It's based on number of busses in the fleet, not the amount of ridership or reach of the system.

 

That said, Fort Worth's bus system *is* woefully undersized for such a large city. We finally got a normal bus route north of Loop 820 last month, and the suburbs refuse to participate.

 

There is probably more that I need to understand about fleet size efficiency, but I have a suggestion that the number of total busses be increased by replacing the larger busses with a fleet of smaller busses. The assumption is that the FWTA could deploy more busses at a greater frequency if it can purchase 2 smaller busses for the price of one larger bus and taking in account other factors.

 

FWBP has an article, non related, but  about an interesting development project by the FWTA:

 

http://www.fortworth...cb81a53a86.html



#46 Jeriat

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:50 AM

 

 

 

FWBP has an article non related but an interesting development by the FWTA:

 

http://www.fortworth...cb81a53a86.html

 

 

The competition that I missed . . .


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#47 Austin55

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

NBC did a story on the Denton line

http://www.nbcdfw.co...-423075144.html

#48 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:05 PM

The location of the North Park & Ride lot is unfortunate. It's located along the difficult to access 35 service road.

 

The newly extended route 11 ends one mile southeast of the P&R lot because it would have to go another 2 miles north to come down the service road to access the poorly located lot. Northbound 64 busses have to make a u-turn southward to access the lot, then make another u-turn to resume heading northward. FWTA should consider relocating the P&R lot to Heritage Trace Pkwy.

 

Not sure Hillwood would allow a P&R to be built on their land, though.


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#49 Austin55

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 03:49 PM

FANTASTIC article from FW Magazine about a LOT of things, but mainly transportation, especially in a less car dependent future. Bus service and the Masterplan is talked about a bit.

http://www.fwtx.com/...eatures/out-gas

#50 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:46 AM

Yes, there will probably be less driving and more transit use in the future, but these predictions are way too far out there.

 

Pretty much everyone I know (except myself) owns a car, and I can't imagine most of the population not having a car.

 

Good luck to "The Avenue" in Austin. I'm thinking they will regret their decision to not build a garage.


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