Denton County Judge Andy Eads will lead the Regional Transportation Council for the next year after his election as chair of 44-member transportation policymaking body Thursday.

Eads, who moves up from vice chair, replaces Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes. Fickes chaired the RTC through the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature, which concluded in May.

Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon was elected vice chair after serving as secretary for the past year. Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel was named the new secretary. The new officers will serve in their positions through June 2020.

A fifth-generation resident of Denton County, Eads has served on the RTC since 2009 and has helped address transportation issues in the growing county as well as the entire region. Harmon was appointed to the RTC in 2001. Daniel has been a member since 2018.

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. The region has a current population of over 7 million people and is expected to grow to more than 11 million by 2045. The RTC guides the development of roadway, rail and bicycle-pedestrian plans and programs; allocates transportation funds; and recommends projects to the Texas Transportation Commission.

The policymaking body’s collaborative approach has helped the region develop a world-class, multimodal transportation system that provides residents options of how to get to work, school and recreational activities. The RTC has also embraced technology as it seeks to pursue innovative ways, such as high-speed rail and hyperloop technology, to connect people.

One of the primary planning tasks of the RTC and North Central Texas Council of Governments is the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, a blueprint that guides transportation expenditures over a period of 20-plus years. The RTC approved the $136.4 billion Mobility 2045 last year.

The RTC also ensures transportation services are coordinated throughout the region and the metropolitan area complies with air quality regulations. Dallas-Fort Worth is currently in nonattainment for ozone and is working toward meeting the federal standards.

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