FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth Transportation Authority will get almost $1 million for bicycles and a related rental system.It was one of 255 projects that the U.S. Transportation Department announced funding for Monday as part of $787 million in grants that were distributed nationwide, all aimed at modernizing and repairing transit systems throughout the nation.The authority, which will get $941,728, will make bicycles available for anyone to rent by the day, week, month or year at public racks placed strategically around the city.The plan calls for about 300 bikes and 30 bike stations in locations like downtown, the hospital district and TCU on the south, to the Stockyards on the north, and the West Seventh Street corridor on the west to Texas Wesleyan University on the east.The T set aside $100,000 as a local match when it applied for the grant earlier this year. It has raised $260,000 in sponsorship.The program will be in place by next April, Dick Ruddell, chief executive of The T, said this morning.The heavy-duty three-speed bikes will come with locks, lights and baskets. Users will be able to use credit cards or program membership cards. Rental rates haven't been determined.Sponsors are Fort Worth South, the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., TCU, and Harris Methodist Fort Worth.An outside vendor will operate the program, and The T will be sending out for proposals soon, Ruddell said.Separately, the city on Monday launched a program to put down bright-green-painted bike lanes at intersections, or other heavily trafficked areas where motorists cross bike lanes.Dallas Area Rapid Transit will receive $12 million to replace old diesel and liquid natural gas buses with compressed natural gas busesTransportation Department Secretary Ray LaHood announced the grants Monday morning, saying they will help put Americans to work. The grants are designed to modernize aging transit fleets and facilities. This is the third round of federal grants of this nature.This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.
Terry Evans, (817) 390-7620; Twitter: @fwstevans