Posted Friday, March 28th 2014 @ 5am by KTRH's Nik Rajkovic
Plans for a privately-funded bullet train between Houston and Dallas is now getting some public support.
The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth personally came down to Houston Thursday to back the Texas Central Railway project.
Dallas' Mike Rawlings calls it a no-brainer.
“You've got over half the population of the state of Texas in these two markets,” Mayor Rawlings told reporters at City Hall. “This is mega big, and that's why I think this is going to work.”
Texas Central Railway is promising a high-speed rail experience at 200 m.p.h. that would transport riders between downtown Houston and downtown Dallas in roughly 90 minutes.
“There are currently more than 50,000 super commuters who travel between Houston and Dallas more than once a week,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “Wouldn't you rather be able to jump on a train and work on something else while you're making that commute?”
As Texas Central Railway prepares for the formal permitting process set to begin next month, public officials are praising it as privately-funded, market driven project.
“I think that is extremely important for taxpayers as we approach this,” said Rawlings.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price says as both regions continue to grow, it only makes sense to bring them together.
“We simply have to connect our communities,” added. “As Mayor Parker mentioned, the super commuters who travel weekly, this gives us a great opportunity to connect them, and its a great opportunity to be on a more global stage.”
The connection planned between Fort Worth and Dallas would be separate from the Texas Central Railway proposal.
“The Houston to Dallas leg is privately funded,” said Price. “The Fort Worth to Dallas will be a public-private partnership.”
Price says TxDOT has formed a committee to study how best to tie-in that second leg.