Airports undermining transit
Author: Delta DFW Downburst
Date: 04-12-2019 - 08:07
The new Fort Worth commuter rail is a good example of foolish policies hurting ridership. It runs from downtown to the DFW airport, but bans overnight parking in the station lots.
So unless you live within walking distance of the station or a honey happy to drop off and pick you up, you might as well Uber all the way to the airport than just the station. Will be faster and no risk of unpleasant/dangerous riders.
Their ridership forecast of about 10,000 a day in a few years was always a joke (equal to the ridership of the TRE commuter rail line that serves downtown Fort Worth and the much larger employment centers of downtown Dallas, the Dallas Medical District, Victory Plaza, and the pro basketball and hockey arenas.) Actual ridership after the free rides ended is about 10% of that.
They are working with towns along the route to implement many TOD projects (mostly housing) that actually are under construction or built. The line may have been built too soon, but not decades too soon like Albuquerque. But it will get skewed for years over their bogus ridership projections that secured it funding (I'm not sure how they got away with that, it was pretty obvious to anyone paying attention.) While many airport transit lines get more of their riders from airport employees rather than travelers (Denver being a notable exception), the obvious kowtowing to DFW Airport by banning overnight parking (and thus creating a huge disincentive for airport patrons to use the commuter rail line) clearly keeps their numbers down when they need every rider they can get.
I'm afraid their good hourly schedule (expanding to half hourly during rush hours in a few months) will get cutback in a year or so. Hopefully they'll have the guts to change the parking policy instead.