Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study
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 could reduce demand on some of the state’s most congested roadways. Through the Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study, TxDOT studied 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 concluded in November 2017 after the completion of a service-level environmental impact statement and a service development plan. Both of these reportsument how passenger rail could serve Texas communities and the benefits and impacts of different passenger rail choices. The study considers the corridor as a whole, as well as three discrete portions of the corridor:
- Northern: Oklahoma City to Dallas/Fort Worth
- Central: Dallas/Fort Worth to San Antonio
- Southern: San Antonio to Rio Grande Valley/Corpus Christi/Laredo
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.
TxDOT hosted a series of public hearings in Laredo, Austin and Arlington to seek public input on the study. TxDOT considered the comments from previous public meetings and prepared the final EIS to evaluate the benefits, impacts and costs of the possible route and service level alternatives. The final EIS is available for download from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
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 were engaged throughout the study.