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#1 2014-12-12 10:08:21

Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 88

Austin city council voted to support funding Lone Star Rail

I was not a supporter of the most recent failed urban rail plan (I favored the proposal) but this is a project I have been following and support so I'm glad to see Austin show it's support for this regional rail system. … /20283821/

AUSTIN – Lone Star Rail moved one step closer to alleviating traffic issues along the Interstate 35 corridor Thursday after the Austin City Council voted to support the funding to maintain and operate a regional passenger rail line.

"I think it's a feasible way to fund a transportation system without having to go to property tax and I think we ought to look at it," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

The project would need about $1.8 billion to be completed, and before the state and federal government provides the money, Lone Star Rail needs to prove they have the money to operate and maintain the system.

Austin City Council agreed this week that if Lone Star Rail builds its seven to eight stops, they can have 50 percent of the increased property tax value to put towards running the line.

"You can arguably say those improvements would not be there without the rail so you're getting 50 percent of something instead of 50 percent of nothing," said Black.

Austin's support is not a sure thing. Before the rail system can break ground, they need the support of both Hays and Travis Counties as well as small cities within their limits. This will be their goal for 2015.

$1.8B for 75 miles and 16 stops seems like a bargain compared to the urban rail plan of $1.38B for 9.5 miles and 16 stops.

Personally I believe this top down approach is the smarter way to approach rail infrastructure, build the main arteries first then its easier to plan and justify the feeder infrastructure like urban rail.

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#2 2015-02-13 17:32:55

From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,259

Re: Austin city council voted to support funding Lone Star Rail

I had mixed feelings about the recent urban rail proposal because of the route.  As for commuter or intercity rail, one benefit over urban rail is that if ridership is the same, commuter rail will prevent more pollution and save more energy because each car trip averted would have been much longer than it would for an intra-city trip.


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