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Major Overhaul Planned As The T Behind On Updated System

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Once, an informational online video promised big changes in the way people could commute in Tarrant County, with a rail line running from southwest Fort Worth to DFW airport with key stops along the line.

But now, The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or 'The T's' vision of a long, fast commuter rail system is at least four years behind schedule.  And The T is in danger of missing a federal deadline for $450 million.

"A lot of money is on the table," says Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.  "But more important, a lot of mobility issues for our entire region depend on moving this project forward."

Mayor Price has instructed council members to be ready to appoint a new management board for The T as early as next week.  Each council member is responsible for appointing -- or reappointing -- one board member for The T.

Sources at city hall say it's likely The T will have at least some, if not most, of its board replaced within the next few weeks.  And their primary missions will be to build commuter rail and to keep taxpayers up to date on how they're doing that.

"I think the appointment of the board will make major changes, and we'll be working closely with them and closely with our Washington and Austin partners to help push this project forward," said Mayor Price.

In a statement, The T seemed resigned to follow whatever changes the council deemed fit:

The T board serves at the pleasure of the Fort Worth City Council which is responsible for appointing eight of our board members, with the ninth appointment coming from Tarrant County.

Each council member may renew their district's board appointment or appoint a different person to the board. These appointments or re-appointments are voted on by the full City Council.

Appointments are usually made in the September – October time-frame but it is not uncommon for the process to take longer.

Members serve until replaced.

The T is grateful for the service of our board members.

The council is scheduled to take up board appointments next Tuesday during their regular meeting.

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