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NCTCOG Approves Contracts for Next Generation Transit System

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Executive Board has given the green light to contracts with two consulting firms, McKinsey & Company and InfraStrategies LLC, to develop a next-generation transit system for the region. This decision follows projections that the area, which currently hosts over 8 million residents, will see its population surpass 11 million by 2045.

The approved contracts, totaling around $2.2 million, allocate $980,000 to McKinsey and $1,212,200 to InfraStrategies. The objective is to craft a transit infrastructure capable of accommodating the region's anticipated growth, particularly in areas currently underserved by existing public transportation providers, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), and Trinity Metro in Fort Worth.

The study, dubbed Regional Transit 2.0, will explore various transportation investments to foster sustainable development while addressing challenges faced by cities lacking the sales tax capacity to join traditional transit providers. Key goals include developing transit legislative programs, strategies to bolster transit authority membership, collaborations between existing transit authorities, and recommendations for infill development and fare-collection strategies.

Additionally, the study aims to address the transit authority-member city paradox, where certain cities contribute sales taxes to support transit services without being direct members of the respective transit authorities.

Transit authorities have a history of collaboration, demonstrated by joint projects such as the A-train commuter rail and DART's Green Line meeting in Carrollton, the shared ownership and operation of the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail corridor between Dallas and Fort Worth, and coordinated rail services to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Partnerships between transit authorities have been vital in providing seamless transit options for residents across the region. As the region moves forward with Regional Transit 2.0, there's an aim to build on these collaborations to create a more integrated and efficient transit network for North Central Texas.

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