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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

September 19, 2007

New traffic congestion study supports expanded transit options

A new study says North Texans are spending 58 hours a year stuck in traffic at a cost of more than $2.7 billion, but expanded public transit options, like those provided by DART, can provide relief.

"The good news is that there are multiple strategies involving traffic operations and public transit available right now that if applied together, can lessen this problem," noted Tim Lomax, a research engineer at the Texas Transportation Institute and co-author of The 2007 Urban Mobility Report.

Locally, transit saves commuters more than $102 million in travel delay costs, according to the study. DART's growing bus, rail and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane network is responsible for more than 330,000 passenger trips each weekday. DART officials estimate that in the corridors where transit is available, such as North Central Expressway, it can deliver the capacity of up to two freeway lanes during rush hour.

DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said the study - which examined the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area as a single region - points out the need for expanded transit options especially in cities not presently served by DART, the Fort Worth T or the Denton County Transit Authority. "Ours is the second-fastest growing region in the country and much of our growth is in those unserved areas. That's why leaders of more than 100 cities, counties and civic and business organizations support efforts to change state law to give voters in non-transit cities the option of dedicating part of their sales tax to transit."

Details of the study are available on the Texas Transportation Institute website, http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/ (opens in a new window).

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