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As Austin invests locally while thinking regionally, it can solve part of the puzzle by adding new road capacity and creating attractive alternatives to driving alone, or – as it is in rush hour – sitting in a car alone and pulling forward every few minutes. Urban Rail is an important part of a much larger, highly networked road and transit system developing throughout the Austin region.

Urban Rail expands the successful MetroRail passenger rail and will connect people to where they live, work and play in the City of Austin, with electric-powered, fixed-rail cars.

It can take the stress out of getting to major employment and entertainment destinations, with service expected every 10 to 15 minutes during rush hour.

Read more from a recent article posted May 2013.

Urban rail coming to Austin? Plan could finish as early as 2014

Austinites shouldn’t expect to be boarding a bullet train to Barton Springs anytime soon, but urban rail took a big step forward this past week.

Community Impact News reported that members of the Transit Working Group met with Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell on May 10 to discuss the prospect of bringing a sophisticated, efficient urban rail system to the capital city. In the meeting, Leffingwell described the plan as having the potential for completion by early 2014. He also indicated that the plan may surface for voter approval on the first 2014 city-wide ballot.

“We talked about setting a tentative wrap-up date of mid-February, which would enable the City of Austin, if it chooses to do so, to put this on the ballot in May election,” the mayor told TWG members. “It’s not necessarily my preference. November is the other option, and I know that gives us a lot more flexibility. I think it would be good to set that target and timetable to achieve that target.”

Working in conjunction with Project Connect – an organization that works with transportation companies to help develop urban transit plans throughout Central Texas – the Transit Working Group is a subsidiary of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and was created to explore the prospect of implementing regional rail in Austin. Securing financing for Project Connect’s $4 billion plan is the next step in the process, and detailed blueprints for segmenting city corridors to accommodate region-specific rail lines are already under way.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time,” said Kyle Keahey, Project Connect’s urban rail lead, to Community Impact News. “We don’t have the time to be distracted, and so you’re going to see in our project efforts a very clear focus on the objectives moving forward.”

Orginal Article By: Emma Kat Richardson

Compliments of: Martha Small | Austin Portfolio Real Estate | 512.587.0308

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