Tonight at the Founders Building in Grapevine a public meeting was held on the progress of the Tex Rail. Public input was also requested on specifics around the rail station and its features and appearance.
In case you have not followed along, the Tex Rail is a project that will create a commuter rail that will run from DFW airport to Grapevine and on to Fort Worth and end somewhere down around Lake Benbrook.
As an update, the project has passed a very important step which was completing the application for roughly $300 million of funding from the Federal Transit Administration that will fund half the project. The application was finished sometime this past summer and submitted for approval.
The bad news is the approval process takes a really long time. The good people at the Tex Rail will not find out if the funding is approved until late in 2012. The current planned opening of the rail is late 2015. (Is it possible to wager on the over on that date?)
Given that the rail funding has not been fully approved it did feel a little awkward providing input on the hypothetical train station. The station is intended to be built on the corner of Main Street and Dallas Road near downtown Grapevine.
The meeting itself was very productive despite it wavering off track from time to time. Roughly 80 to 90 citizens and local business owners showed up for the meeting. One thing about having an open public meeting with public input is that you learn there are a lot of very knowledgeable people in the community. We were impressed with the specific knowledge around mass transit, trains, and train stations represented at the meeting.
Even though the topic of the meeting was intended to be around the appearance of the station itself, conversations and ideas at times wandered back to the amount of parking and the security in the area of the station. A few of the community members did a good job of guiding the discussion back on topic to the train station and its aesthetics.
We applaud the people of the Tex Rail for holding such a well thought out and informative meeting. The Tex Rail update was much needed and judging from the turnout the Grapevine community is very interested in the progress.