Want to try transit during Thanksgiving? Here’s where Fort Worth buses and trains go

November 24,2020

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Gordon Dickson here.

North Texans stuck at home during Thanksgiving week may be surprised to learn that most buses, trains and other public transportation services are still running at near-normal levels.

Riding transit might not seem like a smart idea during a pandemic. However, officials at Trinity Metro, which is the Fort Worth-area’s lead transit agency, say they have taken numerous steps to keep passengers and employees socially distant.

For example, masks are required on board, and many seats have been roped off so riders don’t get too close to each other.

lso, research has shown there is not a correlation between COVID clusters and transit ridership, according to a report by the American Public Transportation Association.

So, why would you want to ride a public bus or rail line during Thanksgiving week?

Many people ride transit to get to and from their jobs.

Others ride to avoid the stress of driving on Metroplex streets.

Here are some other reasons to give transit a try:

Maybe you want to get in some physical activity before filling your face with pumpkin pie, or just get out of the house for a nice walk or bike ride in a different neighborhood.

Just walk or pedal to the nearest train station or bus stop.

Virtually all of Trinity Metro’s buses have bike racks on their front bumpers, and the drivers are accustomed to waiting a few extra seconds at bus stops for cyclists to place their bikes on them. Also, TEXRail almost always has plenty of room for bikes and strollers inside the passenger cars.

“Bikes are welcome on TEXRail, the Dash and all other buses,” said Laura Hanna, Trinity Metro spokeswoman.

Dash is an electric bus service that connects downtown Fort Worth to the West 7th neighborhood and the city’s museum district.

For those who want to ride the extensive Trinity Trails network but don’t live near it, take bus routes 2 or 7 or The Dash to easily gain access to the renowned hike and bike trails.

Take TEXRail to Grapevine and check out the new boutique Hotel Vin adjacent to the TEXRail station. Or, just stroll the city’s historic Main Street, which is decorated to the nines this time of year.

TEXRail will operate on a normal schedule throughout the week, including Thanksgiving day.

Another idea: Take TEXRail to downtown Fort Worth and check out a few of the Parade of Lights floats. The annual parade is being held virtually online this year, rather than in person, but some of the floats will be on display downtown afterward.

Many Trinity Metro buses offer good access to shopping areas, and in several spots riders can use the agency’s ZipZone service to go that “last mile” from the bus stop to the final destination — which can be really handy if it’s cold or wet outside.

Before heading out, it’s a good idea to check Trinity Metro’s website for details on where ZipZone is offered. For example, shoppers using ZipZone to get to retail stores in the Alliance Town Center will need to download a Lyft app and use a special Trinity Metro promotional code to drop the normal Lyft fee in favor of a smaller Trinity Metro fare.

Despite the large number of transit services that are operating during Thanksgiving week, there are a few services that will be shut down and others that will be on a reduced schedule.

The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter line that runs from downtown Fort Worth to Dallas, will not operate on Thanksgiving Day. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, TRE will run on a Saturday-style schedule, with fewer trains than during a normal weekday.

Also on Thanksgiving day, ZipZones in Crowley and Mercantile won’t operate, and paratransit services and ZipZones at Alliance and Near Southside will run on an abbreviated schedule. Customer service offices will be closed, but transit users can call for help 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 817-215-8600.

On the Friday after Turkey Day, the customer care kiosk at Fort Worth Central Station will open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the retail sales office will be closed. By phone, customer service will be open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 817-215-8600.