President’s Post – Regional Partnerships

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May 11, 2012 / By / Post a Comment

In the arena of public policy, the achievement of community goals is greatly enhanced through regional partnerships.  This is particularly important in public transportation.  Since its inception, DCTA has been a great example of what regional cooperation can achieve.  The DCTA system of bus and rail transportation links together communities and universities within Denton County.  The A-train connection to DART links those communities to the DFW metroplex and the region to Denton County.  A key success of DCTA is that the A-train is in operation in advance of the I-35E reconstruction.  This will provide reliable options for travelers, and builds on a similar success seen by DART during the reconstruction of US 75.

The challenges for the future will further press the need for these regional partnerships.  With over 40% of the DFW metroplex population not being directly served by transit, expanding transit’s reach will be a necessity.  Air quality as well as just the ability to move throughout the region will be key factors to consider.  There are, however,  many hurdles to overcome.  These include the different tax rates (½ cent versus 1 cent sales tax), availability under the sales tax cap due to 4A/4B commitments, transportation investments that encourage/enable development sprawl, and resistance to considering transit as an option.

In the past, many communities in our country have faced these same challenges.  The naysayers in Washington, DC who resisted the construction of the Washington METRO System could not see the city function effectively without it now.  Building for our future with our regional partners is the path to success.  It is essential for our health, quality of life, and for the future of our children.

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