Media Relations Contact:Belinda Willis (for the Fort Worth Transportation Authority)
September 25, 2000
For immediate release:
TRE WEEKDAY RIDERSHIP DOUBLES WITH TARRANT COUNTY EXTENSION
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Trinity Railway Express extension into Tarrant County helped boost average weekday ridership to almost 6,000 passengers daily during the first week of service to four new stations, more than double the previous average weekday ridership on the commuter rail line.
Record numbers were also posted on Saturday, Sept. 23, with 9,990 riders on service at the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station and four Dallas County stations. Average Saturday ridership is about 900.
More than 29,000 weekday riders boarded TRE Sept. 18 through 22, with service added to the Richland Hills, Hurst/Bell, CentrePort/DFW Airport and West Irving stations. Previous weekday ridership averages, with service to three Dallas County stations, ranged from 2,300 to 2,400 daily.
"The ridership numbers and comments from passengers indicate the Trinity Railway Express is the preferred transportation option for many commuters," said John Bartosiewicz, general manager of the T, the TRE partnering transit agency with DART. "We anticipate these preliminary ridership numbers will stay consistent once revenue service begins in October. The dependability, the comfort and the affordability of TRE is a major selling point with commuters frustrated with the delays, stress and high cost of traveling our congested freeways."
Among the ridership milestones during the first week of service to Tarrant County:
- 5,762 passenger boardings on Monday; 589 riders boarded at Richland Hills, with 203 at Hurst/Bell and 966 at CentrePort/DFW Airport.
- 6,193 riders were posted Tuesday; 489 boarded at Richland Hills, while 233 were at Hurst/Bell and 1,039 at CentrePort/DFW Airport.
- Wednesday trains reported 5,720 riders; Richland Hills had 411, with 197 at Hurst/Bell and 951 at CentrePort/DFW Airport.
- Of the 5,824 riders boarding TRE Thursday, 431 boarded at Richland Hills, 234 at Hurst/Bell and 1,079 at CentrePort/DFW Airport.
- 6,309 passengers rode TRE Friday, with 511 boardings at Richland Hills, 209 at Hurst/Bell and 1,166 at CentrePort/DFW Airport.
- More than 4,000 passengers boarded at CentrePort Saturday. High traffic was attributed to both first-time riders and fans traveling to the Dallas Stars game at Reunion Arena.
CentrePort/DFW Airport Station continues to be a major destination along the TRE line. The CentrePort business shuttle operated by the T carried about 100 riders daily to businesses located throughout the industrial park.
Plans are already underway to permanently expand the parking lots at the Richland Hills and CentrePort/DFW Airport stations. Overflow parking is available now, and construction could be completed by the end of the year.
As for addition train service to Richland Hills, Bartosiewicz said the T has begun surveying riders for feedback and to solicit suggestions for building service. Currently, the Richland Hills and Hurst/Bell stations offer commuter rush hour service only.
"There have been specific requests by riders for at least one midday and one evening train to and from Richland Hills. We will be discussing additional service with our train operators to determine what is feasible, based on equipment and rail capacity issues."
The Trinity Railway Express is a joint project of the T and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), connecting Fort Worth and Dallas with commuter rail
service along a 34-mile rail line. Service began in December 1996 from Union Station to the Medical/Market Station and the South Irving Transit Center. Trains to two downtown Fort Worth stations will be operating by October 2001.
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