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Mobility Matters - Images of a freight truck traveling on a highway, downtown Fort Worth, a TRE locomotive, downtown Dallas skyline and highway traffic; Celebrating 35 Years of Regional Transportation Excellence, 1974 - 2009

Orange Line Debuts — Light Rail Gives Irving New Commuting Option
New Lanes Could Provide Greater Reliability
      A Message from Michael Morris, Transportation Director

Kamp Emerges as Transportation Leader After Reluctantly Taking up Issue for City
     Member Profile, Pete Kamp, Mayor Pro Tem. City of Denton
RTC Adopts 2013 Legislative Program
Fact Sheet Highlights Transportation Bill
Have You Tried the New Bush Turnpike Extension?
Cut Down on Game Day Traffic by Riding Public Transportation

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RTC Adopts 2013 Legislative Program

FWTAexas Legislature will return to Austin on January 8 for its biennial 140-day session. And transportation is one of the many issues on lawmakers’ minds as they consider how best to deal with matters that will be confronted across the state for the next two years.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s multimodal transportation system continues to expand, but even with all the investment taking place today, there are still traffic jams.

The Regional Transportation Council has approved a list of the items it will actively pursue during the 83rd Texas Legislature, as well as issues to support and monitor. Here is what the transportation policymaking body will pursue:

1. Integrate and enforce existing driving requirements. Make sure drivers pay tolls and meet all their registration, insurance and inspection obligations before renewing their licenses.

 

Photo (Thinkstock): Texas Capitol Building

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2. Retain authority for the Texas Department of Transportation to enter into public-private partnerships on a limited number of projects. In North Texas, that is North Tarrant Express, Interstate Highway 35E/ US 67, Loop 9 and possibly State Highway 360 (south). Legislators provided this ability for select Dallas-Fort Worth area projects during the 82nd session in 2011.

3. Support full funding of the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program. Either transfer revenue to the county it was generated in or move the inspection program to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In 2011, the AirCheckTexas Program absorbed a significant funding reduction as the Legislature faced a budget shortfall. Despite less money, the program was able to continue issuing repair vouchers throughout the year and help a limited number of motorists with replacement costs. Last fiscal year, NCTCOG provided 1,324 replacement vouchers, about 900 of which were redeemed. Historically, not all vouchers are used.

4. Identify additional transportation revenue. With inflation eating into the gas tax’s purchasing power, other methods of funding transportation are being examined. From additional money to tools such as public-private partnerships, North Texas is benefiting from the work of the Legislature. But more funding is needed to ensure commutes are more reliable and quality of life improves in the years to come. The RTC will also support efforts in several areas, including air quality, congestion management and system operations, aviation, transportation-land use connection and multimodal travel.

The RTC developed the legislative program after months of discussions at the committee level and feedback from NCTCOG staff members. The work done during the 82nd Legislature in 2011 served as the foundation of the effort. For information, visit www.nctcog.org/legislative.

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Fact Sheet Highlights Transportation Bill

Graphic: MAP-21 Fact Sheet

 

The NCTCOG Transportation Department has published a fact sheet explaining the newly approved Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), a law authorizing the federal transportation program through fiscal year 2014.

The fact sheet outlines the major components of MAP-21 and provides a comparison with the previous legislation, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, commonly known as SAFETEA-LU.

Funding in most areas was comparable to SAFETEA-LU, which expired in September 2009 and had remained in effect due to a series of short-term extensions. The law consolidates 87 highway programs to 27 and emphasizes efficiency and performance.

MAP-21 and SAFETEA-LU side-by-side comparisonDollars & Cents: Comparing Transportation Bills
Federal transportation programs were reauthorized in July 2012 after almost three years of temporary extensions of the previous bill, which expired in September 2009. This is a comparison between the SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21.

MAP-21 is the latest in the fact sheet series, dedicated to helping residents understand transportation projects and programs and how they can participate in the process. To download copies of this or other fact sheets developed by the department, visit www.nctcog.org/factsheets.

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Have You Tried the New Bush Turnpike Extension?

A new roadway connecting residents to their jobs and entertainment has opened in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension welcomed its first motorists in October.

The toll road extension runs from Egyptian Way (north of Interstate Highway 30) south to IH 20. It provides an alternative for motorists tired of dealing with the congestion of State Highway 360. With the completion of the latest phase of the Bush Turnpike, the road now stretches from IH 30 in Garland, up through many of Dallas’ northern suburbs and down through Irving and Grand Prairie to IH 20 in western Dallas County.

With the final 6.5 miles of the western extension main lanes now open, the Bush Turnpike stretches 52 miles around the Dallas area. We want to know if you have driven on the new roadway yet. If so, what did you think? Did it enhance your commute? Tell us on our Facebook page about your experience with the new road.

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Photo (NTTA): President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension
Photo: NTTA

The President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension, including interchanges with Interstate Highway 30, opened October 15. Completion of the 6.5-mile link to IH 20 means the Bush Turnpike is now 52 miles long.

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Cut Down on Game Day Traffic by Riding Public Transportation

Photo (Thinkstock): Football in grass
Photo: Thinkstock

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Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA)
Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA)
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The Fort Worth Transportation Authority is enabling football fans this year to skip the game day traffic in Tarrant County by choosing to arrive by bus. FWTA’s Cowboy Coaches, departing from the Trinity Railway Express T&P Station park-and-ride lot on West Vickery Boulevard in Fort Worth, start loading two hours before each game. They pick up fans at Molly the Trolley stops close to the major hotels in downtown Fort Worth. The last bus leaves an hour before kickoff.

The Cotton Bowl on January 4 will also be served by buses from FWTA, as have other college games this year. Game day departures for college games at Cowboys Stadium begin four hours prior to kickoff. The roundtrip between the T&P Station and Cowboys Stadium this year is $10. Parking at the T&P Station is $5 per vehicle. FWTA will provide bus service to the Armed Forces Bowl, scheduled for December 29 at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU fans have also been able to choose public transportation to games at the newly renovated stadium this season. For details, visit www.the-t.com.

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Mobility Matters is prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. 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.

10/31/2016 03/17/2009 JS

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