Residents in Fort Worth, Grapevine, or anywhere else in America are paying for a train ride whether they want one or not.
The brand new TEXRail train line opened this month, which runs from downtown Fort Worth, through Grapevine, to the DFW Airport. Trinity Metro Vice President Bob Baulsir says that no one will be charged a fare from January 5 to the end of the month. But that claim is misleading, because while they may let riders on at no charge, every taxpayer in this nation will be paying for them.
As Texas Scorecard has reported in the past, TEXRail is a taxpayer black hole. Updated numbers from the Federal Department of Transportation back up that assessment. Over $530 million federal tax dollars have been funneled into the project. In addition, Texans statewide have been made to fork over $46 million for this, and taxpayers in Tarrant County are now in hock for $20 million in bonds for the project. People in Grapevine have shelled out over $111 million in sales taxes, while taxpayers in Fort Worth — through the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, now known as Trinity Metro — have been bled close to $250 million!
Even if riders were charged a fare, their train rides will still be heavily subsidized. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) runs trains on the Dallas side of the Metroplex, subsidizing their riders up to 90 percent. In other words, the tickets purchased by riders on trains and buses only pay roughly 8-10 percent of the agency’s annual operating cost.
While the rest of the civilized world has moved on to flying cars, incompetent and backwards government bureaucracies and politicians in Fort Worth, Grapevine, Austin, and D.C. are focused on taking taxpayer dollars to bring the people transportation that was birthed in 1804. As has been previously published Texas Scorecard, public rail is a giant financial sinkhole and one that taxpayers in DFW will be on the hook for if something isn’t done to put this hungry genie back in the bottle.