TEXRail’s ridership numbers collapsed nearly 67 percent in February.

The taxpayer-funded rail line boondoggle, which has cost taxpayers in Fort Worth over $250 million, Americans nationwide over $530 million, and will not improve the environment or traffic congestion, boasted having 98,852 riders in January.

But in February, according to data obtained from an open records request filed by Texas Scorecard, those numbers dramatically fell to 32,998 for the first month that riders had to pay. The media and Trinity Metro, the governing body TEXRail operates under, have tried to spin it as a victory by combining the numbers from both months. 

This dramatic drop matches expectations from previously published data that shows a 25 percent decline in ridership in the metroplex from 2008 to 2013. The data also showed that rail operates at a loss in the metroplex.

In addition to poor ridership, the train line has also been plagued with problems: Technical issues forced a postponement of its original launch date, and it recently suffered repetitive issues with some of its crossing arms in the city of Colleyville. 

Taxpayers deserve answers, as their tax dollars continue going to an ineffective, inefficient project. Texas Scorecard will continue to keep them updated on this boondoggle.

Information in this article has been updated since publication. 

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.