The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) was awarded $600,000 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to conduct high-level preliminary planning for transit-oriented development (TOD) along a 25-mile segment of the existing Kansas City Southern (KCS) freight rail line in Denton County. This high-level planning project will help determine if the KCS corridor can provide mobility and economic opportunity for Denton County and the North Texas region.
The corridor study area is a separate right-of-way for freight rail and is proposed for commuter rail service that would connect to DCTA's A-train and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). The funded TOD study area begins at the University of North Texas (UNT) and continues southeast through the cities of Denton, Highland Village, Lewisville, and eastern Denton County – one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S. The planning process will include the following:
- Corridor development policies and planning strategies
- Station development plans for up to six potential station areas
- Financial tools to encourage TOD implementation
- Land development policies to encourage transit-oriented market responses
“As Denton County continues to grow and outpace the rest of the country, how we choose to move goods, services and people across our communities is important as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to build enough highway miles to keep up with the population growth,” Raymond Suarez, DCTA CEO said. “Working with Class 1 railroads like KCS to find solutions to advance smart and efficient growth is significant for the future of mobility in North Texas.”
The FTA awarded a total of $22.97 million to 23 organizations around the country to support comprehensive planning projects that improve access to public transportation. The funds are from FTA's Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning, which assists communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.