Fort Worth’s taxpayer-funded rail line opened this week and, in addition to giving away free rides, handed out bags of free goodies to passengers.

After delaying opening for about a weekTEXRail finally opened on January 10. On top of not charging for rides through the end of January, TEXRail gave each rider a bag containing a travel neck pillow, a luggage grip, and a gift card to Starbucks worth $5. Additionally, riders during the trek were given a mini-flashlight or a pen. Free copies of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram were also made available to riders who made the journey all the way to DFW Airport.

Texas Scorecard has previously shown how much of a financial black hole rail has been in Texas; and so far, TEXRail has sucked a billion dollars of taxpayer money for a project that even government studies show will not improve congestion or positively affect the environment. With ticket prices not even covering up to 10 percent of the true cost of riding, and with all rides this month being made free, taxpayers may wonder whether even more of their money was funneled to provide these “freebies” to riders. Texas Scorecard will follow up.

Robert Montoya

A former filmmaker, University of North Texas graduate, and one-time assistant language teacher, Robert Montoya misses Japan and the 1980s. He is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard.