On a good day, driving on Interstate 35W between downtown and far north Fort Worth is a hair-pulling, brow-sweating experience. But it's about to get even worse, as later this year the Texas Department of Transportation and its private partners begin a complete makeover of the highway, which is being modernized and expanded with toll lanes.
But just in time for that gorilla of a driving headache, a little relief is also on the horizon.
A new bus service to downtown Fort Worth is scheduled to be launched in late spring. Riders will be able to catch buses at a new park-and-ride lot on the southbound side of I-35W, between Golden Triangle Boulevard and Heritage Trace Parkway.
The tentative plan is to offer three trips each in both the morning and afternoon, but the Fort Worth Transportation Authority is still hashing through the details. The agency, also known as the T, will present the project to its board for approval Feb. 17 ... and if construction on the park-and-ride lot continues smoothly, it should open by June at the latest.
For those who live in far north Fort Worth, Haslet, Keller, Roanoke, etc., and work in downtown Fort Worth, this new service might be worth exploring. It won't necessarily get you to work any quicker, but you'll be able to leave the driving to someone else and get some emailing, texting or YouTube watching done during the journey. Or you could strike up a conversation with the other riders, and perhaps make some new friends. (That sounds like a lot more fun that staring at an angry driver's bumper ahead of you on the freeway, doesn't it?).
I'll be doing a story on this new bus service, and it will probably run during the coming weekend - maybe Sunday's or Monday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But in the meantime, those who want to learn more about it can attend either of two meetings:
- The first one is at 7 p.m. tonight at Heritage Church of Christ, 4201 Heritage Trace Parkway, Fort Worth TX 76266 ... Sorry for the late notice everyone ;-( It's expected to be an informal session. Officials from the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, also known as the T, will be on hand to take written or verbal comments and to answer questions. Often, they don't get a lot of members of the public at these meetings, so I'm sure they'd love to see ya there.
- The second meeting is more formal. It's actually a public hearing, and it's scheduled for noon Feb. 10 at the Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1001 Jones St., Fort Worth 76102. (Downtown)