nctcog logo
transportation label
navigational bar



Air Quality Improving, More Work Needed
Programs Reduce Ozone-forming Pollution, Protect Health

Graphic: Web Exclusive


Dogan Finds Clean-Air Choices Can Work Throughout the Year

Program Saving Commuters Miles, Money

The nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth ozone nonattainment area fell just short of compliance with the federal government’s air quality standards last year, but the region’s air is better than it has been in many years.

NCTCOG is working with public- and private-sector organizations across the region to contribute funding to projects and programs that will make it easier to breathe for generations to come.

Chart: Clean Vehicle and Equipment Funding Activities

Since 2006, NCTCOG has distributed more than $47.7 million to local governments and private-sector fleets to help air quality (above).

NCTCOG also maintains programs aimed at helping individuals participate in the effort, giving residents a chance to see how small contributions add up when they are part of a comprehensive effort.

Logo: Air North Texas Air North Texas is a grassroots campaign to encourage the general public to make environmentally friendly choices. AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine provides qualifying residents with vouchers to fix or replace their vehicles. Motorists may receive $3,000 toward the purchase of newer cars or trucks ($3,500 for hybrids) or up to $600 toward emissions-related repairs if their vehicles failed the state-mandated emissions test.

Recipients have used the vouchers to purchase more than 25,000 newer, cleaner-burning vehicles. AirCheckTexas has also resulted in the repair of more than 24,000 vehicles.

Chart: Monthly AirCheckTexas Voucher Expenditures

This is all necessary because the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth area has been designated as a nonattainment area for ozone pollution.

Progress North Texas 2011

Find Us on Facebok   Follow Us on Twitter   RSS   Subscribe
Submit a Comment or Question

Recent Success, Remaining
Challenges >>>

Mobility 2035 >>>

Statewide, Federal Funding Shortfalls >>>

Air Quality Improving, More Work Needed

Partnerships Keep Projects Moving
Forward >>>

Preserving Quality of Life for North Texas >>>

Regional Collaboration Yields Local, Regional Benefits >>>

Economic Recovery Funds Building Transportation
Legacy >>>

Tell Us What You Think! >>>

Logo: Regional Smoking Vehcile Program

Smoking Vehicles

AirCheckTexas continues to provide needed aid to many of the region's drivers whose vehicles failed the emissions portion of the state-required inspection (left).

The Regional Smoking Vehicle Program allows drivers to report cars that smoke for a prolonged period of time. Vehicles can be reported in two ways (above). Reported vehicle owners are provided information about possible emissions problems, vehicle maintenance tips and helpful solutions on how to correct the problems.

The region must implement measures to improve its air quality or face future sanctions from the Environmental Protection Agency and could eventually lose transportation funding. Below are examples of what the region is doing to improve air quality so the fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth area can continue to meet its transportation needs.

Try Parking It

  Logo: DART

Logo: DCTA
  Logo: FWTA
  Logo: TRE

Regional ride-share debuts

The North Central Texas Council of Governments debuted a new commuting option last year that allows commuters throughout the region to find ride matches in a centralized location.

Rather than going to an individual transit agency, those who want to leave their cars at home but lack other transit options can log on to and find carpools or vanpools to join.

The expansion of this alternative commute website gives Dallas-Fort Worth a comprehensive, integrated ride-sharing program. The new option combines the resources of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) to create a user-friendly site that will give commuters more choices for getting to work.

Benefits of sharing a ride ride-sharing program is intended to relieve traffic congestion, therby improving the reliability of the transportation system for all commuters. It may also lead to improvement of tthe region's air quality, which is important since Dallas-Fort Worth continues to pursue compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's ozone standards.

How the program works
To join a carpool or vanpool, visit and enter your name, address and the address of your employer. You will then be matched with several potential drivers within 10 miles of your home. Your information is confidential until you agree to release it. You may update your profile to indicate whether you would be willing to drive, if you smoke and how you would prefer to be notified of matches. The ride-sharing information maintained by the three public transportation agencies is available at the NCTCOG-administered site.

2010 by the Numbers
Employers 1,634
Users/employees 9,558
Users logging
Total miles traveled 1.3 million
Trips reduced 16,361
Miles reduced 823,645

Photo: Fireman's Fund Insurance Company vanpool

Through Three Counties, to Work This Vanpool Goes

Tamiko Sockwell, vanpool captain, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company

How did you first hear about the vanpool program?

I found out about the program from a current vanpool rider.

What made you decide to join/form a vanpool?
I save money and I’m not contributing to pollution.

Why do you think that vanpools are important?
Vanpools are an important part of the environment because of the resulting energy savings and the ozone problem the region faces. You also save money by being a part of the van.

Briefly describe your daily commute. What transportation options do you feel are important to help alleviate congestion and help improve air quality in the region?
We drive about 1 hour and 15 minutes daily, through Van Zandt, Kaufman and Dallas counties to our office in downtown Dallas. We currently have seven passengers in the van and therefore are getting six vehicles off the road. And with the vanpool, we are able to use the HOV lane making our commute faster.

One of the major goals of the vanpool program is to help improve the region's air quality by relieving traffic congestion. How does it make you feel knowing that you are a part of the solution?
It’s a great feeling we are doing our part to help the air quality.

What does/did it mean to you to win the Vanpool of the Year Award from the North Texas Clean Air Coalition?
It’s GREAT! We’ve had a vanpool for a long time and we all get along great. It was exciting to be a part of the luncheon and get the trophy. We were trying to decide how we could get the trophy attached as a hood ornament.

What's Next: Building on Clean Air Momentum

In 2011, EPA reclassified the Dallas-Fort Worth area from a “moderate” nonattainment area to a “serious” one, necessitating the implementation of additional ozone-fighting measures. North Texas remains committed to finding solutions to the air quality problem, recognizing the close relationship between clean air and quality of life.

The past few years have been marked by steady air quality progress, with ozone levels decreasing significantly since 1998, when the region’s design value was 102 parts per billion. However, work must continue if the region is to meet the current standard of 85 ppb and a likely future standard of between 60 and 70 ppb (expected in 2011). The North Central Texas Council of Governments will continue working with the public and private sectors to develop and implement strategies necessary to meet current and future air quality standards.

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the opinions, findings, and conclusions presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Texas Department of Transportation. This document was prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Trasnportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration.

1/25/2018 03/17/2009 JS %Arc

Find Us on Facebook  Follow Us on Twitter  Tubin with the COG Trans  Grammin with CogTrans
 North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
 Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 640-7806