The new bus route would replace the existing 63X, or North Park-n-Ride Xpress route, currently offered, according to Chad Edwards, vice president of planning and development for Trinity Metro.
“The key difference with the new route is that it would originate in east Fort Worth with a stop in downtown,” Edwards said in an email. “When the new route is in operation, it will replace Route 63X. Ridership is steady, but the growth potential is high with the planned route.”
The AllianceTexas development that spans northern Tarrant County and southern Denton County is home to more than 550 companies and generated more than 63,000 jobs as of the end of 2021, according to figures from the development.
Tito Rodriguez, vice chair of the Trinity Metro board of directors, said the service would connect people to employers such as FedEx, UPS, Amazon and several warehouses.
“It gives those individuals an opportunity for new employment opportunities and education,” Rodriguez said in a news release. “It’s going to be state of the art.”
Edwards said that because the new route will use the I-35W managed lanes, Trinity Metro will offer passengers a guaranteed arrival time in connection with the posted bus schedule.
“Should the bus not arrive on time at the destination, the fare for that trip will be refunded, more than likely with a credit,” Edwards said.
The new route would run from the Dunkins Transfer Center in east Fort Worth to the North Park-n-Ride lot in the Alliance area with a stop at Central Station in downtown, according to a news release. The new service will be offered seven days a week compared with the five-day service currently offered with the 63X route.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments will provide about $16 million in federal funds for the service. About $14 million will be used to purchase the buses with the remainder expected to be used on operating expenses, including the refund program, Edwards said.
He estimated that it could take as long as 24 months before the new buses are available to use.
A news release from the city of Fort Worth calls the effort “an innovative service that will increase the reliability of transit.”
“It’s a really cool approach to perhaps equalizing the playing field for people who use transit and people who drive their cars. I’m pretty excited about it. I think it’s gonna be very successful,” said Paul Ballard, interim president and CEO of Trinity Metro, in the release.