The debate over a high-speed rail project that would connect Dallas and Houston is picking up steam.
Just this week, the group Texans Against High Speed Rail teamed up with a Dallas law firm to fight the project.
“The majority of the people that we talk to, they reach out to us, they have no desire to have this run through their property,” said Kyle Workman, who heads up the opposition group.
Workman owns property in Jewett, one of the many cities located near or along the proposed 240-mile rail line. His group is planning to fight the project in court, arguing land rights and environmental issues.
“The concerns are valid and they need to be vetted,” said Workman. “Certainly, lawsuits are part of that strategy.”
Despite the push back, the developer behind the project has no intention of slowing down work.Read Full article here
Just in case his constituents were not already aware of his stance on the Houston-to-Dallas bullet train project, U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady made it clear that he’s against it. The longtime congressman sent a letter to state legislators urging them to get State Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton to decide whether Texas Central Partners, the company that plans to build a Houston-to-Dallas high-speed rail line, has the right to use eminent domain to obtain land for the project.Original article here
It is time Texas stopped funding transportation for the huge share of residents who commute alone in their cars each day, Mayor Sylvester Turner told state officials, arguing that widening highways leads only to more gridlock.
The Legislature’s effort to stop diverting state highway dollars to non-road projects has resulted in $1.3 billion in new funds for road work statewide, and officials say they’ve identified where to spend nearly $164 million of that money in the Fort Worth area.
Among the areas where highway improvements will be sped up are: the Texas 121/360 interchange in southern Grapevine; the Texas 121/Loop 820 interchange north of Interstate 30 where Fort Worth, Hurst and Richland Hills converge; and Texas 199 in the Azle area.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article56930853.html#storylink=cpy
MIT student engineers won a competition to transform SpaceX and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk’s idea into a design for a Hyperloop to move pods of people at high speed.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was named the winner Saturday after a competition among more than 1,000 college students at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The Hyperloop is a high-speed ground transport concept proposed by Musk to transport “pods” of 20 to 30 people through a 12-foot diameter tube at speeds of roughly 700 mph.
More than 100 university teams presented design concepts to a panel of judges in an event that began Friday.
Delft University of Technology from The Netherlands finished second, the University of Wisconsin third, Virginia Tech fourth and the University of California, Irvine, fifth.
The top teams will build their pods and test them at the world’s first Hyperloop Test Track, being built adjacent to SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California, headquarters.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article57577748.html#storylink=cpy
The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport elected Dallas attorney Sam Coats as its new chairman of the board on Thursday.
Coats, who has served on the board since 2012, replaces Fort Worth hospital executive Lillie Biggins whose two-year term ended this month. Biggins will continue as a representative on the board.
Sam Coats, a former airline executive, was named chairman of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s board on Thursday. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
“This is the best unpaid job I’ve ever had,” Coats said as he took over the chairman position. Coats was the president of Muse Air before it was acquired by Southwest Airlines in 1985 and also held various management positions at Continental Airlines, Southwest and Braniff Airways.
The board also approved a ten-year $35 million sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola. With the new contract, the airport will switch from Pepsi to Coke products in March. As part of the contract, Coke will build amenity/entertainment zones in the terminals that could include lounges or play areas for kids.
When Carol Sue Johnson, 73, wheels her silver Mazda S.U.V. out of her driveway in suburban Minneapolis, she doesn’t know how much money she will make driving for the ride-hailing service Uber, but she’s sure she will have an adventure.
Her passengers run the gamut, she said, from three visiting Chinese business executives who were surprised to see a female driver, to teenagers needing a ride to hockey practices or games.
When one group of teenagers “started to get too rowdy,” said Ms. Johnson, who goes by Sue, “one of them told the others to stop because ‘Grandma’s in the car.’”
Motorists annoyed by what they say is an unnecessarily low 50-mph speed limit on Chisholm Trail Parkway will likely have to tap the brakes for at least four or five more months.
North Texas Tollway Authority officials said the earliest they can raise the speed limit is likely to be May or June — and that would only occur if a formal speed study justifies the change and Fort Worth residents who live near the 28-mile toll road agree to it.
“There will be a thorough public process, and safety goes into it as well,” said Elizabeth Mow, the tollway authority’s assistant executive director of infrastructure.
Even so, the call to raise the speed limit is growing louder.
The Fort Worth City Council earlier this month voted to change its agreement with the tollway authority to allow for higher speeds. That’s the first step in a process that officials say could take four to five months.
For the 2016 budget year, which started in September, Texas is pouring $1.1 billion in oil and gas severance taxes into the State Highway Fund. That was based on collections from the previous year.
But with oil prices plummeting, those transfers are expected to tumble to a total of $594 million in fiscal 2017 before bobbing up to $740 million the next year, Hegar told the House Select Committee on Transportation.
The lifting of the Wright Amendment is only one reason airfares gave fallen so much. Several other factors, primarily the low cost of jet fuel due to plunging oil prices, have encouraged airlines to be more competitive with their fares on selected routes on certain weekdays to stimulate demand.
Atmosphere Research analyst Henry Harteveldt said Fort Worth-based American Airlines has aggressively lowered fares at DFW when its flights compete against a low-cost carrier such as Spirit or Frontier.
“A low-priced fuel environment allows American to be more responsive to low-fare offerings by competitors,” Harteveldt said. “American has always had aggressive revenue management software that would allow it to optimize the number of seats sold at any price point, but in a low-fuel price environment it can make more seats available.”