It’s a $499 million Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Transportation Department’s Federal Transit Administration signed on Thursday.
Local funding for the 27-mile commuter rail line is already in place, so the $1.034 billion project is ready to move ahead.
TEX Rail has been a long time coming. The idea dates from at least as far back as 1990, when Dallas Area Rapid Transit purchased the Cotton Belt Rail Line for future transit use.
Much of the TEX Rail route is on the Cotton Belt tracks. Those tracks also extend past DFW Airport to Richardson and Plano, which one day also might support commuter rail trains.
At grant-signing ceremonies Thursday with Carolyn Flowers, the Federal Transit Administration’s acting administrator, local leaders emphasized not just the transportation benefits of the new trains but the economic development potential they could bring with them. Let’s hope so.