Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens will lead the 45-member Regional Transportation Council for the next year after being elected chair on Thursday.
She takes over for Collin County Commissioner Duncan Webb, who led the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) through the recently concluded 88th Texas Legislature, the council said.
The RTC of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974.
Bivens is president and executive director of North Texas LEAD (Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity), a talent search firm that connects jobseekers with businesses and organizations committed to creating diverse and inclusive leadership teams.
She is a graduate of North Texas State University and is a former corporate spokesperson and broadcast journalist.
Bivens has been an RTC member since 2021 and has represented Fort Worth as its District 5 councilmember since 2013. This past year, she served as vice chair of the RTC.
Working together for sound regional development
The MPO works with the region’s transportation providers to help solve the complex transportation needs of the fast-growing region, which includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties.
The RTC’s 45 members include local elected or appointed officials from North Texas and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers.
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to work together in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. Its purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, avoid duplicating efforts, and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth and currently has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 27 special districts.
Overseeing transportation for the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area
Longtime RTC member Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who joined the council in 2011, will be the next vice chair. Johnson County Commissioner Rick Bailey, who was appointed to the RTC in July 2022, was elected secretary.
The new officers will serve in their positions through June 2024.
As the transportation policymaking body for the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth area, the RTC oversees transportation planning for the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, which has a current population of roughly 8 million people.
The RTC said it guides the development of roadway, rail, and bicycle-pedestrian plans and programs; allocates transportation funds; and recommends projects to the Texas Transportation Commission for state funds and programs. It also ensures transportation services are coordinated throughout the region and that North Texas complies with federal air quality standards.
The region’s long- and short-range transportation plans must comply with federal air quality regulations because 10 Dallas-Fort Worth area counties — Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise — are in nonattainment for ozone pollution.
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