Texas’ proposed Tex Rail project has been awarded a record of decision (ROD) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin construction in 2016.
The decision implies the formal federal approval of the TEX Rail Environmental Impact Statement.
The 27-mile commuter rail project is being developed by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), Texas.
The T board chair Scott Mahaffey said: "Achieving a record of decision is an acknowledgement of the importance of TEX Rail in helping to meet the growing public transportation needs in Greater Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and to provide essential connections to other transit systems across the North Central Texas region."
The ROD allows The T to sign an agreement with an engineering services firm to start engineering and acquiring property needed for stations and other facilities in the rail corridor.
These developments will enable Text Rail to receive federal funding for approved expenditures of up to 50% of the project’s estimated capital cost, which is expected to be approximately $810m.
About half of the funding will be provided by local funding and the Transportation Department has included $50m for TEX Rail in the federal government’s budget for the next fiscal year.
TEX Rail will initially transit from downtown Fort Worth, on to Grapevine and into the north-end of DFW International Airport at Terminal B.
The project is expected to have more than 10,000 daily passengers from eight stations during its initial service starting in 2018 and approximately 15,500 passengers from ten stations by 2035.
The T’s TEX Rail partners include Tarrant County, the City of Fort Worth, the City of Grapevine and DFW Airport.