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February 26, 2014

Music City to Cowtown: Nashville man to take over Fort Worth transit

PballardNew leadership is on the way at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. The agency, also known as the T, has hired a new president - Paul Ballard, who since 2002 has been CEO of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Ballard helped bring commuter rail to Nashville in 2006 - although the Music City Star has been criticized for a lack of ridership.

More recently, Ballard has pushed hard for a bus rapid transit line in Nashville, the Amp, but has faced fierce opposition to that $174 million plan.

In North Texas, Ballard's job No. 1 will be to get the proposed TEX Rail commuter line open by 2017 or shortly thereafter ... and to do that he and other supporters will have to find a way to persuade the Federal Transit Administration to provide several hundred million dollars in funding.

Ballard also will be asked to extend T bus service to areas of the city that have been traditionally ignored, including the far north side. And, he will be asked to form a closer relationship with Arlington, which turned to Dallas Area Rapid Transit instead of the T when it came time to launch a pilot bus service to the Trinity Railway Express CentrePort Station.

@gdickson Ampweb-304

Amp photo: Nashville Business Journal

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