November 21, 2021 - TRA Newswire -
In January 2022 Eddie Bernice Johnson will step down from a career in Congress that saw her champion rail projects in Texas from the early days of DART to recent support for high-speed rail in the state.
The veteran 30-year Congresswoman announced this weekend that she will not seek another term serving the 30th District.
Johnson is known for breaking barriers. She was the first Black woman ever elected to public office in Dallas when she won a state House seat in 1972. She went on to serve in the Texas Senate and then, in 1992, voters elected her to the 30th Congressional District. Johnson became the first registered nurse to ever serve in Congress.
EBJ is one of the most senior members and at 85 is the longest serving member from Texas and is considered the dean of the Texas delegation. She chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and has been a long-term member of the House Transportation Committee.
In April 2019 she was honored by Texas Rail Advocates and others during the 100th anniversary of Dallas' DART and Amtrak rail center by having it renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station. The same week she led a bipartisan letter with Texas members of the U.S. House to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board urging support for Texas Central’s Dallas to Houston high-speed rail project.
In November 2018 Johnson announced that Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) received $2 million in grant funding from the Federal Transit Authority for the Red and Blue Line Platform Extension Project. The funding adds to the $58 million awarded this year as part of the authority’s Capital Investment Grant.
Previous efforts by Johnson helped direct federal funds to expansion at North Texas airports and various transit and transportation projects. She called her longtime support for DART "my baby from the first day I got there" and helped secure funding to grow the light rail line from its startup in 1996.
Johnson was known for working across party lines to get projects approved. At her announcement this weekend she said “I’m proud of what I’ve done because there is no Texan in the history of this state who has brought more home."