Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens was elected chair of the Regional Transportation Council on June 8. She will lead the 45-member transportation policymaking body for the next year.

The backstory

According to a North Central Texas Council of Governments’ news release, Bivens is president and executive director of North Texas LEAD, or Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity, a talent search firm that connects jobseekers with businesses and organizations committed to creating diverse and inclusive leadership teams. A graduate of North Texas University, Bivens 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 council member since 2013. She spent the past year as vice chair of the RTC.

The news release went on to state that Bivens takes over for Collin County Commissioner Duncan Webb. Longtime RTC member Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who joined the policymaking body in 2011, will be the next vice chair. Johnson County Commissioner Rick Bailey was elected secretary. Bailey was appointed to the RTC in July 2022.

The details

According to the news release, the RTC includes local elected or appointed officials from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and representatives from the region’s transportation providers. 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 approximately 8 million people and has several functions, including:
  • Guiding the development of roadway, rail and bicycle-pedestrian plans and programs
  • Allocating transportation funds
  • Recommending projects to the Texas Transportation Commission for other programs
  • Ensuring transportation services are coordinated throughout the region and the metropolitan area complies with federal air quality standards
The news release stated that 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. That means those county does not meet or contribute to the air quality standard.

Bivens, along with the other new officers, will serve in their positions through June 2024.