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Media Relations Contact:
Belinda Willis

September 18, 2000

For immediate release:

TARRANT COUNTY COMMUTER RAIL SERVICE MARKS SUCCESSFUL FIRST DAY OPERATION

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas - More than 750 Tarrant County commuters rode the rails this morning (Monday) for the start of the Trinity Railway Express expanded service to three new Tarrant County stations.
Train service began today from the Richland Hills, Hurst/Bell and CentrePort/DFW Airport stations in Tarrant County and the West Irving Station in Dallas County. It is the first extension of the commuter rail line since service began in December 1996.
Riders were out early to board the TRE. The first train leaving Tarrant County departed from the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station at 5:46 a.m. The first train to depart from the Richland Hills Station left at 6:13 a.m. for a 7:01 a.m. arrival at Dallas Union Station.
"The first day of operations in Tarrant County was extraordinarily smooth," said John Bartosiewicz, general manager of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T), the partnering agency with DART on the commuter rail service.
"The enthusiasm for TRE was apparent. Many of our passengers have been waiting years for this service. Based on the comments we're hearing from our riders, they want the dependability and economic savings of commuter rail," he said. "Monday was an exciting day for all residents in Tarrant County and the entire region."
The eastbound boardings by station during morning rush hour were:


  • 253 passengers at Richland Hills
  • 160 passengers at Hurst/Bell
  • 352 passengers at CentrePort/DFW Airport

Parking facilities at Richland Hills and CentrePort/DFW Airport were at capacity, with riders using overflow parking near the Richland Hills Station. Arrangements have been made to provide additional parking immediately at Richland Hills. Some riders may want to consider parking at the Hurst/Bell Station - the largest of the three parking lots - rather than Richland Hills.
While Tarrant County commuters headed to jobs to the east, many Dallas passengers used the TRE to connect to the DFW Airport and other locations in Tarrant County.
Westbound deboardings by station were:

  • 171 riders off at CentrePort
  • 3 passengers exiting at Hurst/Bell
  • 17 riders traveling to Richland Hills

Several passengers boarded at CentrePort to travel west to the Hurst/Bell and Richland Hills stations.
Trains were running on time, with only a two to three minute delay during peak rush hour at one or two stations. Bartosiewicz said some would-be riders arrived to the Richland Hills Station too late for the last morning departure.
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"The trains will run on time each day, so riders must plan accordingly to ensure their arrival before boarding time," he said.
T officials will distribute a customer survey to get input about TRE service and to solicit suggestions for building the service.
"We have said from the beginning that service expansion would be determined by ridership," Bartosiewicz said. "We are already hearing from our Tarrant County passengers that they would like to see some additional service. We will hear feedback and make decisions based on need as well as equipment and rail line capacity."

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