When Rail Succeeds, Communities Succeed

By Rich Andreski | 6/4/2024

President & Chief Executive Officer
Trinity Metro
Fort Worth, TX

Seven years ago, at the intersection of South Main Street and East Dallas Road in Grapevine, Texas stood … well, not much other than some old buildings and an undeveloped field. Today, at the same intersection, one will find a bustling Trinity Metro TEXRail train station, new homes, shops, hotels, and, nearby, Weinberger’s Deli.

Weinberger’s is one of those local sub shops with a menu that covers an entire wall. There are sandwiches for every taste and a few special ones, like “The Slechta,” named after Trinity Metro’s board member. I recently sat with Dan Weinberger, under a big leafy oak tree, steps from Trinity Metro TEXRail. Dan was fluent in the ingredients that make a great sandwich and in the increased and sustained sales he attributes to Trinity Metro TEXRail.

Dan’s successful deli is surrounded by the celebrated Hotel Vin, a 120-key Marriott Autograph property, developed by Coury Hospitality. Hotel Vin is flanked by the impressive Harvest Hall, and a bevy of new multi-family units are steps from its front door. The din of construction near the station is a familiar sound.

Our own economic impact study shows every dollar invested returns $3.05 locally, not including transit-oriented development or increased property values near rail stations. The economics of rail, along with the convenience, high-service reliability, and top-notch frontline team, have captured the attention of North Texas residents. Our resident polling data shows one in three households in Tarrant County have used the service in the last year. A vast majority of riders give it high marks.

Our success is trending with Fort Worth, now the 12th largest city in the nation with 978,468 residents. Fort Worth continues to be the fastest growing big city, but also faces the related challenges of congestion, talent attraction and retention, and economic productivity. Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker recently formed a panel of well-respected community and business leaders to look at urban rail investments for our future growth. The recommendations from that group are due next year.

What we know is that rail is essential for any city that aspires to compete. Long-term trends in demographics, housing, and mobility are aligning in powerful ways that make rail more relevant than ever before. Thanks to success stories like Trinity Metro TEXRail, the City of Grapevine, Hotel Vin, and Weinberger’s Deli are thriving. Rail is a win, win, win. The future of rail has never been brighter.