High speed rail between Fort Worth and Dallas is getting closer, potentially making commuting between the two cities much faster.
Six months after the Fort Worth City Council gave the go-ahead to city officials to move forward establishing a local government corporation, or LGC, to work with Dallas on a high-speed rail line, the Dallas City Council’s Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure & Sustainability Committee on Monday told city officials in that city to do the same.
Dallas could act on that agreement early next year, the Dallas Morning News reported.
In May, North Texas Council of Government officials revealed the possible project, a 30- to 40-mile rail line, to the Fort Worth City Council. A $15 million environmental impact study of possible routes is expected to be completed in 2018.
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Jay Chapa, a Fort Worth assistant city manager, said in May that a series of steps will need to be completed for the project to happen and setting up the LGC is among the first steps. He reiterated that on Tuesday, saying the LGC will serve as the governing body of high speed rail, from its creation to actual construction.
“The LGC will allow us to be prepared,” Chapa said.
But as in May, discussion at Monday’s meeting in Dallas addressed how the line would work because it would have to go through Arlington and Grand Prairie and whether those cities would be included in the LGC. If those cities want a stop, they will have to join the LGC, Chapa said.
Officials with both transit agencies have said they’ve talked with Arlington over the years about joining their systems. Arlington does not have a full cent of its sales tax to contribute to DART, which the agency requires for membership, the Morning News reported.
According to the Morning News, Michael Morris, the North Texas Council of Governments’ transportation director, said: “You’re either going to be in the big leagues or you’re not going to be in the big leagues. And Arlington knows if they’re not fully compliant with this notion, there will not be a station on this high-speed rail line.”
Fort Worth officials have said the earliest a train could travel between Fort Worth and Dallas is 2023 or 2024.
The rail line is being proposed to run either between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas down Interstate 30, or along the Trinity Railway Express corridor. Project costs haven’t been determined. The trains could travel between 70 and 125 mph, according to reports.
The proposed Dallas station is set to be built in the Cedars neighborhood near Interstate 30, the Morning News said.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has said the rail line is a “critical part” of Fort Worth’s future.
“We’re never going to be able to support enough concrete to accommodate all our traffic,” Price previously said. “This could be a major piece and a solution for us for transit in the future.”
This article contains information from the Star-Telegram archives