Texas’ population and economy are booming, with much of its growth occurring in the already-congested I-35 corridor. While TxDOT continues to explore roadway improvements to keep us and our economy moving, other options, such as passenger rail service, fit the needs of many travelers and would reduce demand on the state’s roadways. Through the Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study, TxDOT is studying how passenger rail service could fit this corridor.
Oklahoma City to South Texas
The Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study is an evaluation of a range of passenger rail service options in an 850-mile corridor from Oklahoma City to South Texas. The study is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2015 after the completion of a service-level environmental impact statement (EIS) and a service development plan. Both of these reports will document how passenger rail could serve Texas communities and the benefits and impacts of different passenger rail choices. The study will consider the corridor as a whole, as well as three discrete portions of the corridor:
Public Meeting Results
Hundreds of community members reviewed possible rail routes and service levels at in-person meetings and online in January and February of 2014. Participants provided comments on the passenger rail alternatives that were recommended for further study. Fact sheets are available that describe each of the alternatives that will be studied in the draft EIS.
Now TxDOT will consider the comments and prepare the service level draft EIS to evaluate the benefits, impacts, and costs of the possible route and service level alternatives. The draft EIS is expected to be ready for public review and comments in the end of 2015. Stay tuned for ways to get involved! Join the mailing list, and follow the study on Twitter and Facebook to get updates.
Because the corridor extends into Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is an important partner in the study. In addition, transit service providers, railroads, metropolitan planning organizations, cities and counties, and community members will be engaged throughout the study.