The T in Fort Worth welcomes a new president to the area. Today is the first day of work for Paul Ballard, who makes his way to Fort Worth after being the CEO of the Nashville MTA and Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Gordon Dickson traveled to Nashville to take a look at Ballard’s work and see what can be expected from it’s new president.
“You’re getting someone who has a high profile in the transit industry,” said Freddie O’Connell, who serves on the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority board. “If nothing else, he has taken Nashville from a city that had the conventional wisdom that there was not a public transportation system to one where it’s now one of the hottest topics around town.”
One of Ballard’s biggest projects in Fort Worth will be the TEX Rail from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Projects such as TEX Rail are seen as key to getting people outside Loop 820 to use public transit.
Fort Worth residents have access to city bus service, the Trinity Railway Express, Denton County’s A-train and connections to DART in Dallas. Yet only about 1.2 percent of Fort Worth’s workers over age 16 — roughly 3,995 people — take public transportation to work, according to 2012 data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey.
Ballard can address that shortcoming, his supporters say, by getting commuter rail running and improving bus travel times. Because of the improvements he made in Nashville, the supporters said, transit ridership has nearly doubled since he arrived in 2002.
Read the complete write-up about Ballard at the link below.
Nashville to Fort Worth: The T’s new leader [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]