The dissatisfaction is they aren't funded enough to do thier job.
I understand that the allowable taxing ceiling is already maxed out for Fort Worth and Arlington. If so, advocating for additional funding will mean defunding of other priorities. TTA will have to look for alternative funding authority and that authority can look like NTTA, TRA or the likes. Like NTTA, who authorization is to build and managed highways, tunnels and bridges in conjunction with the TDOT, an parallel authority could be authorized to build light rail or streetcar transit. Is there a mandate that FWTA is the sole agency responsible for all public transportation development or management?
If TTA wants to do a specific project, say a private light rail line between Arlington and Fort Worth, it will have my support.
FWTA is authorized to build rail lines, highways, and parking facilities, TTA is authorized to build turnpikes - not rail.
Take the time to read the Texas Transportation Code...usually the fist few sections of the related chapters defines what that type of transit agency can do....
FWTA falls under Chapter 451. Chapter 365 covers Toll Roads.
"And is that the absolute final word?"
The thing that will prevent the establishment of any agency is politics; it is why the City Council is and has the first say. However if enough grassroot support materializes and politicians join with the TTA, then there is no reason with proper backing that an attempt can be made to create and secure law for an agency that is authorized to build a light rail.
I believe that FWTA has been more focused upon building the commuter rail at the expense of even developing a conceptual plan for a local rail transit system for Fort Worth Proper. The frustrations coming from the prioritization of the CR, the proportion of funding by the City, and the fact that all other major Texas cities have light rail in existence or on the drawing board adds to a new urgency to look at an alternate way to make rail transit a reality in Fort Worth and possibly Arlington.
Yes, the odds are high against TTA. What TTA has done is organize the frustration held by groups within Tarrant County about the lack of progress. It has blindsided FWTA and it may also force FWTA to think more locally than regionally. I am happier now with TexRail than earlier; I believed that FWTA was being influenced by DART to focus on CR. TTA is a statement to FWTA to get local transit built; and if not, TTA will get the City to make funding happen, either through prioritizing it over other tax distributions or by encouraging the City to seek another alternative. NTTA is a model of getting roads built without adding additional taxes; such an approach for a specific purpose as a Tarrant County Rail Line seems worthy of pursuing.
In legislation, authorization sunsets and before its ending, it had a sunrise. In this way, FWTA is vulnerable as is almost all forms of authorization; can be changed or limited.