Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T)
1600 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Contact:

Joan Hunter
jhunter@the-t.com
817-215-8973 (office)
817-455-4110 (cell)











For Immediate Release

The T launches year-long celebration of silver anniversary starting Nov. 8
Rider appreciation activities will culminate during 2009 with grand prize drawing for 25-year transit pass

FORT WORTH (October 31, 2008) – Ridership on The T has nearly doubled – from 5.2 to nearly 9 million annual passenger trips -- since the creation of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority by city voters on November 8, 1983.
To thank residents, employees and the communities it serves for helping to make public transportation successful in Tarrant County, The T will launch a year-long celebration. 

It will start on The T’s 25th birthday, Saturday, Nov. 8, when President Dick Ruddell will help agency staff serve The T’s bus and Trinity Railway Express riders coffee and snacks and distribute T memorabilia at The Intermodal Transportation Center, at Jones & 9th Street, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Ruddell will be available from 10 – 11 a.m.)

Other community anniversary activities include:

Luncheon hosted by Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 20 at the Ashton Depot, with speaker T. Boone Pickens, who recently commended The T on a nationally televised program for its pioneering conversion to compressed natural gas vehicles;

Roll-out of a six-month Text-to-Win contest with participant prizes;

Announcement of the winner of a 25-year premium transit pass randomly selected from among Text to Win participants.

A proclamation declaring November 8 as T Day in Fort Worth will be read at a Fort Worth City Council meeting to recognize the contributions of public transportation in improving the mobility of residents, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

Since 1983, The T has expanded its service area from the mid-sized city that Fort Worth was then to multiple cities and government entities in Tarrant County – among the fastest growing U.S. counties with a population nearing 1.8 million.

As it commemorates its Silver Anniversary history, The T also is celebrating many recent initiatives that will lead to enhanced transit services in the Western half of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  These include:

Completing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a new 40-mile commuter rail line in one year with sign off by FTA in October;

Developing station plans with Fort Worth and Grapevine, Texas as funding partners for The T’s new commuter rail, along with DFW Airport and providing and assistance to Haltom City, North Richland Hills and Colleyville for potential future stations;

Expansion of transportation services and new initiatives for more service begun for the rapidly growing Alliance area;

Setting ridership record in Tarrant County in 2008 for Trinity Railway Express commuter rail;

Launching Transit Signal Prioritization – the first North Texas transit agency to do so;

Starting a pilot commuter bus service in September in Arlington – the city’s first public transit;

Initiating the first Bus Rapid Transit plan in North Texas;

Installing security cameras and GPS on all buses to enhance safety and customer service;

Expanding trackage and parking at TRE commuter rail stations in Tarrant County;

Winning the Federal Transit Administrator’s ridership award for second year in a row;

Supporting the Fort Worth Modern Streetcar Committee for use in Fort Worth’s city core;

Implementing an employee customer service initiative that increased satisfaction survey ratings to 95 percent or above in most categories, up from high 80’s to 90’s two years ago;

“Interest in further expansion of public transportation is rapidly moving across all of Tarrant County, due to high gasoline costs, population growth that has created congested highways, air quality concerns, and a regional plan to enhance public transportation in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the nation,” said Dick Ruddell, president and executive director of The T.

“The T will continue to support new transit initiatives that will help solve the transportation issues facing our cities and this region, including support for streetcar and other downtown rail service, bus rapid transit systems, the expansion of commuter rail networks, and helping to support our communities with special transit needs such as providing more transit service to the Alliance area, helping to serve the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium when it opens in 2009 and continuing special community transit services for events such as Texas Motor Speedway races, Main Street Days and the Fort Worth Stock show,” Ruddell said.

ABOUT THE T
The T provides quality public transportation to meet the mobility needs of Tarrant County and the North Central Texas region.  The T annually provides service to nearly 9 million passengers on buses, vanpools and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), a commuter and passenger rail between Fort Worth and Dallas, jointly owned with DART.  The T is a regional transportation authority of the State of Texas.  It is governed by a nine-member board of directors appointed by the Fort Worth City Council and Tarrant County Commissioners Court.  For more information, visit www.The-T.com.

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Copyright Fort Worth Transportation Authority 04-18-2002