Letter to the Editor – TexRail

Grapevine TexasDear Editor,

We have until March 1st to help stop one of the largest wastes of our tax dollars in Tarrant County history–TexRail.

Rail lobbyists are pushing for local tax increases and federal funding to pay for an unneeded rail line from Ft. Worth to Grapevine.

Their own Preliminary Environmental Study of estimated ridership doesn’t come close to justifying a rail line. Even bus lines would lose far less money while maintaining better efficiency and flexibility. The TEXRail project is not going to reduce pollution (it is diesel, not light rail) or traffic problems for Tarrant County but will worsen these problems due to traffic stopped at the many road crossings. Additionally, we will be burdened with freight trains blocking the entrance to Baylor Hospital for up to 10 minutes at a time. The proven and less expensive way to relieve traffic congestion is with roadway improvements.

Rail systems in Dallas and Austin have been disappointing. Costs ran much higher than projected, ridership is lower than projected and there is no measurable improvement in traffic congestion. Let’s not repeat their mistakes.

Grapevine is getting a particularly bad deal as they’ve already wasted a considerable amount of money on this project only to be told the train is not stopping in the stockyards. Additionally, train stations tend to be crime magnets.

There is something we can do. Negative comments will cause the request for funding to drop in priority at the federal level, potentially stopping the rail project.

Please submit comments about the high cost, low benefit, and negative impact to info@texrail.com or call 817-215-8785. Deadline is Mar 1, 2013.

Note: Also in opposition to TexRail are our Tarrant County State Representatives, Giovanni Capriglione, Stephanie Klick, Craig Goldman, Bill Zedler, Jonathan Stickland, Matt Krause.

More info on rail expansion thegreattrainrobbery.org/index.php?id=59.

Thanks,

Natalie Genco

4 Comments

  1. Thank you Joe for posting this and Thank you Natalie Genco for writing.
    This is so true, and I do not support a rail line or commuter train through the NE Tarrant County. It will be a burden and waste of our tax dollars that will never be recouped nor ever live up to the benefit it was suppose to give our area. Trains in vast metro areas with vast land never meets expectations.
    Even if you did ride the rail, what are the chances that the bus or sidewalk is going to take someone to exact location that they need to go? Not likely. You will probably still need a car when you get off the train.
    We are not New York where there is a stop every few blocks and hundreds of miles of tracks.
    This is one of the worst ideas and should not be given any more time or breath wasted by our representatives. There are much more pressing issues that they should be dealing with that CAN make a difference.
    Colleyville citizen

  2. Thank you Joe and Natalie for making this information available to the city of Grapevine. Here is a link to all of the City Council’s emails: http://www.grapevinetexas.gov/index.aspx?nid=92. Please make your voice heard to them before the March 1st deadline. I believe if we take the extra time to do this we can save ourselves a whole lot of grief later.

    Sincere regards,

    Cory Huddleston

  3. I do not support a rail line or commuter train through the NE Tarrant County. It will be a burden and waste of our tax dollars. It is too expensive and not enough people ride to recoup the expense.

  4. Roadway congestion is frequently a function of roadway capacity and congestion is asymptotic to that very capacity (basically people drive where roads are available regardless of capacity and behaviors adjust accordingly). Eventually every road will fill up as development takes advantage of excess capacity and you kick the can down the road again and eventually need 24 lane highways to get people to work by the same metric that justified the 12 lane expansion.

    Second, how does the fuel system type inherently make it more polluting than the alternative (which I guess is equivalent vehicle traffic)?

    Why is rail beholden to some business model that has to recoup money where roads are not? How much does a road cost? How much will it collect in fares? How much will 26 or the DFW connector make over the next X years? This is a false equivalency. Transit in general is not meant to make or recoup money. If you want to apply that model to transit we need to revisit gas taxes in a major way.

    Also, we have a rather massive roadway improvement underway in Grapevine. Why can’t we do both? The rail is not that intrusive. It’s not money that would magically become availble elsewhere.