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Wanna ride TEXRail for free? This is your last weekend. Here’s what you need to know

TEXRail 100% open, Fort Worth to DFW Airport

TEXRail is now fully open from downtown Fort Worth to DFW Airport. Stations are also open in North Richland Hills and Grapevine.
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TEXRail is now fully open from downtown Fort Worth to DFW Airport. Stations are also open in North Richland Hills and Grapevine.

This is the last weekend that North Texans may ride TEXRail for free.

The popular new commuter rail line connecting downtown Fort Worth to DFW Airport will start charging fares on Thursday. Trinity Metro, the local transit agency that built TEXRail, opened the trains to the public on Jan. 10, and offered free rides through the end of the month to give area residents a chance to check it out at no charge.

Although commuter rail is traditionally built for people to get from their neighborhoods to their jobs — and those trips often occur on weekdays — TEXRail has experienced large weekend crowds in its first month of service. TEXRail is a seven-day-a-week service, and the trains operate about 21 hours a day.

Ginny Johnson, who lives in Poolville about 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth, said she and her husband planned to drive to Fort Worth on Friday afternoon to experience TEXRail. They planned to park for free at North Side Station near the Stockyards, and ride the rails from there.

“It’s a nice day and we wanted to see the scenery,” Johnson said in a phone interview.

She added that she and her husband formerly lived in Hurst and North Richland Hills, but moved to a rural area in their retirement years partly to get away from the grind of traffic.

So they hope TEXRail can become an alternative to driving when they visit the Metroplex.

“We may use the train whenever we need to pick someone up at the airport,” she said.

Once the fares are charged, a single train ride will be $2.50. A day pass will be $5, and that allows unlimited use of Trinity Metro trains or buses.

For those who want to use Dallas trains and buses, too, a regional pass is $12.

But once the free period is over for TEXRail, many daily users may find it more cost effective to buy monthly or even yearly passes.

Also, reduced fares are available for children, students, seniors and people with disabilities.

Ticket machines are available at all TEXRail stations, and they take cash or credit cards.

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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.