January 1, 2024 - TRA Newswire - 

She was a trailblazer. A nurse before she entered politics, Eddie Bernice Johnson defined many of the transportation choices that North Texas enjoy today by wielding the federal purse-strings for DART, DFW Airport and road projects over her 30 years in Congress.

Former Congresswoman Johnson passed away Sunday at the age of 89. The pubic was notified by a Facebook post from her son. 

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson posted on X, formerly Twitter, "Congresswoman Johnson was a groundbreaking leader for this country and for our state and city, and there really are no words to express my profound sense of grief and loss at the passing of this legendary American. I am stunned and saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson."

Congresswoman Johnson was responsible for bringing home funding to North Texas for a wealth of road, rail and airport projects over her storied career in Washington, representing her constituents in District 30. She was a staunch supporter of Amtrak service and for high-speed rail development. 

She served as a Texas Democrat state lawmaker for twenty years, from 1972 to 1992, being the first black woman elected to a state public office from Dallas. In 1992 she was elected to Congress, a position EBJ held until retiring last year. She served on the House Transportation Committee and was the first African American woman to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. 

Representative Jasmine Crockett now represents Johnson's former district and was sought out by EBJ to run for the post.  “When I’m feeling a lil lost, I’ll always lean in and see if I can hear your voice, Congresswoman. You’ve earned your rest… I’ll continue to uplift your life’s work!” Those words from Rep. Crockett appeared in a post on X.

In 2016 Union Station was renamed Eddie Bernie Johnson Union Station during the facility's historic centennial celebration.  

Texas Rail Advocates was proud to be part of the Celebration Committee for the newly renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, known for her wide-ranging advocacy of transportation issues, was honored at the 100 year anniversary of Union Station on Monday, October 17, 2016

Bringing all the railroads together in one central station helped to hasten the growth of Dallas, a town with no major river for marine traffic.

A statement posted by Dallas Area Rapid Transit said "Congresswoman Johnson was a beloved icon who served the 30th Congressional District for 30 years and played an instrumental role in making the DART system what it is today.

She was awarded the first annual DART Legacy Award in August 2023 for her leadership and support of DART and public transportation initiatives throughout the country."

“I send my condolences to her family,” said DART Board of Directors Chair Gary A. Slagel. “Congresswoman Johnson was an invaluable advocate for and partner to DART since her time as a Texas State Representative in 1972. We will be forever grateful for her service to our community and DART.”

Photo credit: Texas Rail Advocates

Pictured on lead: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison with Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson

Additional photo: Senator Hutchison and Congresswoman Johnson joined by Former Texas Senator and Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson and wife, Christina, who both have worked for passenger rail service in East Texas. Photo taken during the EBJ Union Station Centennial celebration.