Fort Worth council closer to making T board appointments

Posted Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- The City Council is drawing closer to making delayed decisions on appointments to the T's board of directors, whose terms expired in September.

Some, all or none of the board members could be replaced.

Any changes would be made with an eye toward strengthening Fort Worth's emphasis on commuter rail, Mayor Betsy Price and City Councilman Jungus Jordan, chairman of the city's Passenger Rail Working Group task force, said Wednesday.

Many improvements have been made in the city's transportation network in recent years, "but the bottom line is, we know we can never build enough concrete roads to be prepared for the growth that is coming," Jordan said.

That means passenger rail will be crucial, he and other council members have maintained.

Council members could have some appointments to make as early as Tuesday's council meeting, said Jason Lamers, chief of staff for the mayor and council.

"The T Board appointments are due, and the City Council needs to make those appointments soon," Price said in a statement. "Mobility is a crucial component to our city's future success. As we move forward, the City Council will be focused on making appointments that put Fort Worth in the best position to quickly and completely deliver our vision of a comprehensive, convenient public transportation system."

During a news conference Wednesday to announce her re-election campaign, Price told the audience at a Stop Six community center: "You will see major changes in the focus on rail. Council has picked the ball up on rail, and we will get it delivered."

Each of Fort Worth's eight council members makes an appointment to the T board, and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has the ninth. Price does not make an appointment.

Price took the T -- officially, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority -- to task last year for delays in TEX Rail, the planned commuter line that would run from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and the north end of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Completion of the line is now estimated for 2016.

In looking at the T and appointments, Jordan said, "We're taking a hard look at where we are and where we need to go."

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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