Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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$14M study on intercity passenger rail revealed

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TWC News: $14M study on intercity passenger rail revealed
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Before High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail can become a travel option for Texans, the state will fund a $14 million transportation study.

TxDOT released a map showing proposed routes for the rail. The plan connects metropolitan areas between Oklahoma City and Brownsville, spanning at least 850 miles.

The project is part of a 2009 Obama administration push to develop energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly mode of transportation for a growing population.

The study, 80 percent of which will be paid for by federal funds given to the state, will address planning, engineering and environmental impact.

TXDOT representatives say public input is need before the train leaves the station.

"It's really what's going to serve the public,” TXDOT Rail System Section Director Jennifer Moczygemba said. “What types of service do they need? What types of trips are they making up and down the corridor? Do they want this to be competitive with their car travel? Do they want this to be competitive with air? Those are some of the questions we need answered."

The study is expected to be complete by December of 2014, but even after the $14 million study is finished, there's no word on how much it would cost to get such a rail up and moving.

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