Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Texas Lawmakers Trying to Resurrect the Push for San Antonio-Austin Passenger Rail

Posted By on Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 12:37 PM

click to enlarge WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / STUART SEEGER
  • Wikimedia Commons / Stuart Seeger
Some Texas lawmakers are looking to resurrect the decades-old idea of a passenger rail line connecting San Antonio and Austin.

In late August, 20 state reps sent a letter to the chairman of the House Transportation Committee requesting a feasibility study ahead of the 2021 legislative session on a rail link between the cities.

In the letter, legislators including Reps. Diego Bernal, Ray Lopez and Barbara Gervin-Hawkins pointed to projected population growth in both cities and suggested a rail might relieve highway congestion. Projections from the Texas Demographic Center show that suburban Williamson, Hays and Comal counties also stand to gain 2 million more residents by 2050.

"As we look toward this future, congestion will only become more severe," the lawmakers wrote.



The idea of an Austin-San Antonio commuter rail isn't new. Officials in both cities have been floating such proposals for decades.

The last attempt fizzled in 2016 after the Union Pacific withdrew from a rail district seeking to link the two cities. The railroad company worried development of a passenger line would hurt its ability to move freight.

The state reps' renewed interest in SA-Austin rail comes as the Alamo City grapples with remaking its transit options to deal with rapid population growth.

ConnectSA, a committee established by Ron Nirenberg to address growing road congestion, has proposed $2.7 billion in new transportation projects, many hinging on voter approval. Those proposals don't include a light rail, which Alamo City voters have rejected twice since the year 2000.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 25, 2020

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation