TEXRail Picks Up Steam

Hold on to your Rails

Despite getting off to a bumpy start — the commuter rail was delayed five days due to a failure to obtain full clearance from the Federal Railroad Administration (thanks to a recent government shutdown) for its 27-mile route — TEXRail has already shown it has legs for the long run.

Following an inaugural ride through the line’s nine stops from T&P Station to DFW Terminal B on New Year’s Eve, Fort Worth’s first commuter rail system was a no-show for its introduction to the public on Jan. 5. Yet, after officially opening a week later, Fort Worth commuters have shown their eagerness was justified.

Always conservative on estimates, Trinity Metro initially projected 8,000 daily riders by the end of the year, but it looks like they might not have to wait that long for the public to get acquainted with the service. During its opening weekend, TEXRail serviced 11,000 passengers — 6,489 on Saturday and 4,625 on Sunday — with the downtown T&P Stations, Grapevine/Main Street Station and DFW Terminal B being the most popular stops.

Now, in an attempt to take advantage of the buzz, TEXRail is already talking expansion plans — looking to take the line farther south and open another station in Fort Worth’s medical district.

“We already have the designs. We know the route. We know what needs to be done,” says Scott Mahaffey, Trinity Metro board chairman. “We have the partners we need to serve the medical district and TCU.”

Though this will likely take three to four years to complete, Fort Worth’s public transit is clearly on the upswing.