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The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) has received a Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Aviation Administration that could lead to construction of the TEX Rail project starting in 2016.The decision issued by the FTA signals formal federal approval of the TEX Rail Environmental Impact Statement, The T officials announced yesterday."Achieving a Record of Decision is an acknowledgement of the importance of TEX Rail in helping to meet the growing public transportation needs in greater Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and to provide essential connections to other transit systems across the North Central Texas region," said The T's Chairman Scott Mahaffey in a press release.TEX Rail's initial service will extend from downtown Fort Worth, across northeast Tarrant County and Grapevine, and into Dallas-Fort Worth Airport at Terminal B. The 27-mile regional rail corridor is projected to have more than 10,000 daily riders at its initial start of service, which is expected in 2018. By that time, the line would have eight stations; by 2035, there would be 10 stations and more than 15,500 daily riders, The T officials estimate.
The agency has applied for federal New Starts funding for the project, and officials are hopeful they will receive federal funds for up to half of TEX Rail's estimated capital cost.
The Record of Decision also permits The T to advance engineering work and begin acquiring property necessary for stations and other needs along the rail corridor.
The next major milestone in the federal New Starts process will when FTA gives The T a green light to enter engineering, at which point The T will place its order for rail vehicles, according to Mahaffey.
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