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Proposed Texas Bullet Train Project Update

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Texas Central Railway released a Dallas-to-Houston bullet train project update on December 12 identifying high-profile supporters that they say have come forward on behalf of the project in recent months. The list of those on board (pardon the pun), recently published on their website, includes the cities of Plano and Duncanville as well as the Metro 8 Chambers of Commerce. The statement identifies that these supporters “…recognized the incredible potential for a transportation solution of this magnitude in Texas.”

High-Profile Supporters

Proposed Texas Bullet Train Project Update

Photo: Geograph

Among the list of new project supporters, is The Texas Association of Realtors, whom Texas Central Railway has quoted from the Texas Realtor Magazine as stating “TAR supports high-speed rail in Texas as a factor in attracting to the state property owners and businesses that desire alternative transportation methods.” It further goes on to identify Prairie View A&M University, North Texas Star Republican Women and The North Houston District as being pro the bullet train project.

Up for Debate at the Texas State Legislature?

Proposed Texas Bullet Train Project Update

Photo: Pixabay

In recent months, supporters and opponents of the proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas have voiced their opinions, although a report from the Houston Chronicle has noted that the final determination of the line will likely be made in the state legislature’s upcoming session commencing this month. Prior to this, the Texas Central Railway released a study by L.E.K. Consulting that identified over 90% of possible bullet train riders would shave one hour of travel time from their trips by using this train instead of driving or flying. The study further went on to state that approximately 5 million passengers would use the proposed line by 2026. The 240-mile train line is being proposed for construction commencing in late 2017 or early 2018.

What Does Rural Texas Have to Say?

Proposed Texas Bullet Train Project Update

Photo: Pixabay

The proposed bullet train line has faced intense disapproval in rural areas, however, where a private company such as the Texas Central Railway having eminent domain rights has been vehemently opposed. A lawsuit has also been leveled against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), citing their refusal to coordinate planning activities in relation to the line. Numerous state lawmakers have sided with local officials regarding the line. Also up for debate are the company’s efforts to negotiate with private property owners along the proposed route, with lawmakers having promised to submit legislation at the upcoming state session that would take the eminent domain authority away from Texas Central Railway.

A Private Project With Private Funds

Proposed Texas Bullet Train Project Update

Photo: Facebook/Texas Youth Livestock and Agriculture

In June of 2016, Texas Hill Country reported that many Texans were concerned about the project, including State Rep. Cecil Bell, who was quoted in the Houston Chronicle stating, “I am saying that it does not look economically viable, and if it’s not economically viable, it is only intended to become a subsidized endeavor. I don’t believe that Texas properties should be taken or private properties should be taken. I don’t believe taxpayers’ dollars should go to fund the endeavor. It’s a big amusement park ride. That’s what it is.” However, the project has been and continued to be identified as private, meaning taxpayer dollars will not be an issue considering the project will be privately funded. With this latest project update release by the Texas Central Railway, they continue to identify project support and to insist that no taxpayer dollars will be needed for the $10 billion private project. It’s anticipated that the opening of the January session of the Texas State Legislature will include much debate surrounding the project.

Sources:

Houston Chronicle

Texas Central Railway