Local Motion - June 2020
A monthly update on the activities of the Regional Transportation Council and the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department
Clean Air Action Day celebration moved to Aug. 5Clean Air Action Day (CAAD) has been rescheduled for August 5 this year. Traditionally held at the beginning of summer, CAAD is a day when Air North Texas asks residents to pledge to do simple things in their everyday lives to positively impact air quality. This year, to encourage social distancing, North Texans can still participate in CAAD by choosing to work from home when able to, as well as by packing lunch in a reusable bag, buying locally grown foods and/or purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle.
CAAD was created more than 10 years ago to educate the public on air quality measures. Since its inception, CAAD has helped people determine what they can do to improve air quality both inside and outside the home. The hope is to reduce the number of high-ozone level days in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and protect people’s health.
Clean air actions are not limited to August 5. Make it a habit to think about and act on how you can improve air quality every day in multiple ways. A good first step in the fight for better air quality is signing up for air pollution alerts at www.airnorthtexas.org/signup. You will be notified when ozone levels are predicted to be unhealthy so you can take extra precautions and limit actions that affect air quality on those days.
You can continue to take action after that first step by visiting www.airnorthtexas.org/howto for resources and information on programs that can help you continue improving air quality in your daily life. These resources include how to find ways to work from home efficiently, reduce idling, enforce smoking vehicle law, conserve water and electricity and much more.
Check out www.airnorthtexas.org/cleanairactionday for ways to make a difference in air quality and select the actions you plan to take. Then show us and others what you have done by posting on social media, using #CAAD2020 and tagging @NCTCOGtrans.
DART expands GoLink service to western CarrolltonThe Dallas Area Rapid Transit board recently approved a two-year agreement with the North Central Texas Council of Governments for the full funding of GoLink service to the west Carrollton area. Last year, the City of Carrollton and Western Extrusions, a private-sector employer in west Carrollton, approached DART about a lack of last-mile transit connections from the light rail station in downtown Carrollton to the manufacturing business development. The solution was an on-demand, personalized, curb-to-curb GoLink service with NCTCOG funding $325,000 for two years and DART monitoring performance, holding a public hearing and evaluating a long-term service approach for the entire Valwood Industrial Business Park area, where the company is located.
Service will run Monday through Friday from 5:30 am to 7 pm with a dedicated on-demand vehicle and a connection directly to DART's Green Line via the Downtown Carrollton light rail station. GoLink is also available in Farmers Branch, Glenn Heights, Inland Port, Kleberg and Rylie, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, north Dallas, Park Cities, Legacy West, far north Plano, north central Plano/Chase Oaks and Rowlett. — Submitted by DART
Take a (virtual) trip to learn about transportation history
School is out, and despite the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, many parents are still working from home. Those looking for creative ways to keep their kids occupied should consider a virtual trip to the museum.
NCTCOG has developed a resource with transportation activities for students learning remotely — and now home for the summer. Visit www.nctcog.org/trans/about/educate/transportation-activities to see local facilities such as the Cavanaugh Fight Museum, the C.R. Smith Museum or Love Field’s Frontiers of Flight.
A little farther from home is the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio or the Children’s Museum of Houston. The site also provides links to several Smithsonian exhibits, where students can learn about the Wright brothers, the history of transportation, solar power and more. Keep an eye out for more adventures from the NCTCOG Transportation Department to help your kids navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clean vehicle funding available from TCEQ The Texas Clean Fleet Program has approximately $7.7 million available to fund the replacement of light-duty or heavy-duty diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles. Up to 80% of the project cost may be funded. Grants will be awarded based on a combination of emissions reductions and cost-effectiveness. Any person or entity who owns, leases or commercially finances a fleet of 75 or more on-road vehicles may be eligible to apply. Projects must replace at least 10 diesel vehicles.
The application deadline is June 30. Program details are available at www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/tcf.html. Additionally, the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program offers rebates for eligible light-duty vehicles purchased or leased in Texas since September 1, 2019.
Rebates of up to $5,000 are available for up to 1,000 eligible compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) vehicles.
Rebates of up to $2,500 are available for up to 2,000 eligible electric drive or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Details are available at www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/ld.html.
Clean Cities seeks partners for data project
The Dallas Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition is seeking data partners to share Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and EV charging station data for the next three years to understand end user charging and driving patterns as well as vehicle and infrastructure performance. The results will inform important EV industry research and planning. The effort is part of a national data collection project called EV-WATTS.
Data partners must have PEVs with existing telematics or have networked EV charging stations. All data will be anonymous and free of any personally identifiable information. Data partners will receive free individualized reports of their data and usage trend analysis.
To learn more about becoming a data partner for this project, please contact DFWCC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study to compare natural gas, diesel vehiclesDallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities is partnering with Clean Fuels Ohio on a Department of Energy funded project called NGV Updated Performance Tracking Integrating Maintenance Expenses (UP-TIME).
The project will compare the maintenance cost data of medium- or heavy-duty natural gas and diesel vehicles operating in freight and goods movement and will provide fleets and natural gas vehicle industry stakeholders relevant, real-world information detailing NGV maintenance costs. DFWCC is seeking fleet data partners to share their maintenance and repair data for this project.
The data will help improve total cost of ownership calculations and determine the maintenance cost differences between NGV technology generations and current advanced clean diesel engines. Fleet data partners will receive a report containing a graphical assessment of major parameters by vehicle powertrain, year, and model as well as answers to important operational questions.
To learn more about participating in this study, please contact Amy Hodges at email@example.com or 817-704-2508 or DFWCC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCTCOG to give COVID-19 transportation updateNorth Texans can provide online input for regional transportation planning and air quality initiatives beginning June 8.
NCTCOG staff will provide information related to performance measures outlining the impacts of COVID-19 on the transportation system at www.nctcog.org/input. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on travel behavior in North Texas, decreasing freeway congestion and toll road transactions, while improving air quality and increasing bike-pedestrian activity.
The pandemic has also affected transit operations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Staff will post information related to long-term effects as well as provide a list of transit providers allocated funding by the Federal Transit Administration’s Urbanized Area Formula Program through the Fiscal Year 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
In addition to tracking COVID-19 effects, NCTCOG staff has been working on many planning initiatives, including funding partnerships with cities in Southeast Dallas County for roadway improvements as well as modifications to the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The UPWP identifies transportation and air quality-related planning tasks to be carried out by NCTCOG as the metropolitan planning organization. Information on both initiatives will be posted for public review and comment.
Finally, staff will provide an overview of an energy reporting requirement submitted to the State Energy Conservation Office each year. Details will include energy management resources and training sessions, as well as data from the Fiscal Year 2019 report.
Information on Clean Air Action Day, the Map Your Experience tool, the Regional Smoking Vehicle Program and vehicle incentive opportunities will also be highlighted. Comments on the aforementioned topics will be accepted through July 7.
- Imagery provided by Getty and Clean Cities Coalition