Grapevine has seen increases in hotel occupancy and beverage and retail sales taxes since TEXRail opened.  -  Photo: TEXRail

Grapevine has seen increases in hotel occupancy and beverage and retail sales taxes since TEXRail opened.

Photo: TEXRail

As TEXRail celebrated five years of service on Jan. 10, Reed Lanham, vice president of rail at Trinity Metro, always believed the agency was bringing an exciting transit option to North Texas.

"We provided an incentive for residents and visitors alike to ride TEXRail to and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport without worrying about driving, parking, or traffic hassles," Lanham said.

After reaching a total of 2 million rides since TEXRail began in 2019, ridership continued to grow throughout the year.

"Rides have exceeded our expectations during busy travel times, such as around the holidays," Lanham added. "To help with that, we implemented long-term parking options at some of our train stations for just $5 a day. We have also seen exceptionally high ridership around festivals and holiday events in Grapevine, which is one of our partner cities. Residents from nearby cities flock to these events and choose TEXRail as their preferred method of travel."

TEXRail offered free rides throughout the service day on Jan. 10, to celebrate its fifth anniversary.

Plus, customers had the opportunity to participate in the “Name That Train!” contest, where winners received a free 31-day local ticket for Trinity Metro services.

TEXRail Ridership Highlights

  • Nearly 2.5 million riders since service began (through December 2023)
  • Nov. 20 was the highest single day of ridership with 6,625.
  • Two of the highest monthly ridership numbers occurred in late 2023: 83,071 rides in November (67% increase over November 2022) and 82,492 in December (34% increase over December 2022).
  • Every month in Fiscal Year 2023 (October 2002-September 2023) had higher ridership than the same months the previous year.

“Our ridership growth shows how much TEXRail means to the community and to visitors,” said Lanham. “TEXRail is a safe and reliable service with an outstanding on-time performance. Customers can rely on us for a consistently positive experience.”

According to Lanham, Trinity Metro has budgeted for a 14% increase in TEXRail ridership for Fiscal Year 2024.

TEXRail has traveled 2,941,522 total miles, completed 17,250 maintenance inspections and features 1,792 seats, 688 windows, 688 windows, 23 bridges, nine stations, and eight trains.

TEXRail has traveled 2,941,522 total miles, completed 17,250 maintenance inspections and features 1,792 seats, 688 windows, 688 windows, 23 bridges, nine stations, and eight trains.  -  Photo: TEXRail

TEXRail has traveled 2,941,522 total miles, completed 17,250 maintenance inspections and features 1,792 seats, 688 windows, 688 windows, 23 bridges, nine stations, and eight trains.

Photo: TEXRail

Economic Impact of TEXRail

TEXRail has had an economic impact on the communities it serves. By North Richland Hills/Iron Horse Station and North Richland Hills/Smithfield Station, $137 million in transit-oriented development occurred, including residential and commercial developments.

Tito Rodriguez, North Richland Hills council member and Trinity Metro vice chairman, said the train has brought economic growth and accessible public transportation to the city.

“Our residents love having the option of riding TEXRail to Fort Worth or Grapevine for day trips – or riding to the airport to catch a flight,” he said. “Long before the commuter rail line opened, North Richland Hills was planning for all of the residential needs for people who want to live near the train station.”

In Grapevine, $105 million in transit-oriented development included Hotel Vin, Harvest Hall, and a public parking garage. Grapevine has seen increases in hotel occupancy and beverage and retail sales taxes since TEXRail opened.

Sales tax revenue has grown nearly 40% for businesses located within a five-minute walk to TEXRail’s Grapevine/Main Street Station. Sales tax revenue is up more than 30% within a 10-minute walk.

“The impact of TEXRail is undeniable,” said Paul Slechta, Grapevine council member and Trinity Metro board member. “The collaboration between Grapevine and Trinity Metro yields significant ridership every time the city has an event. TEXRail is the perfect transit option for festival-goers to relax and not have to worry about parking.”

Future of TEXRail

After the launch of TEXRail, Trinity Metro implemented a public art project to beautify the stations and to provide a visual connection to the communities. Local artists were chosen by panels comprised of community representatives and art professionals.

"The artwork, which is displayed in the seating area at eight of the nine stations, adds an inviting atmosphere for riders and an opportunity to enjoy the designs while they are preparing to board or after they disembark," Lanham said.

Now Trinity Metro is extending TEXRail by adding two miles to the route and a new station in Fort Worth’s medical district, which has an employment base of 50,000.

"This will provide added convenience for medical personnel and hospital visitors as well as providing a connection to nearby restaurants and entertainment options," Lanham said.

About the author
Louis Prejean

Louis Prejean

Assistant Editor

Assistant editor Louis Prejean works on Metro Magazine and Automotive Fleet. The Louisiana native is now covering the fleet industry after years of radio and reporting experience.

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