I'm in Hurst, at Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes' annual transportation summit. About 500 people are here in the conference center.
D/FW Airport CEO Jeff Fegan is addressing the crowd. He's optimistic that mass transit will arrive by 2014 from Dallas. That's when the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail orange line is scheduled to arrive at Terminal A. Less certain at this point is when the Fort Worth Transportation Authority's commuter rail line will reach Terminal B. That T line was originally supposed to get to D/FW before DART's line but, while DART has found the funds to move quickly on its project, the T's application for federal transit funds for its line from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and D/FW has become mired in bureaucracy.
Even so, Fegan says the airport has high hopes that the two lines will connect, and form a natural transit hub between D/FW's terminals A and B. Some transit riders will be airport employees and travelers, but most riders will actually be simply moving between the T and DART systems.
Earlier this morning, former Harris County (Houston) judge Robert Eckels spoke about efforts to lure private investment into a high-speed rail system connecting Dallas-Fort Worth to Austin, Houston and College Station. Eckels is president of the Lone Star High Speed Rail LLC, which is working with Japan's railway system to develop super-fast trains in Texas.
Later in this summit, we'll be hearing about Alliance-area developments from Hillwood Properties, as well as Fort Worth's efforts at expanding commuter rail from Councilman Jungus Jordan.
Come on out and catch the rest of the summit. We'll be here until 1:30 at the Hurst Conference Center, 1600 Campus Drive. Lunch is $25.
-- Gordon Dickson.