Lone Star Rail dodges “kill-shot”

March 22, 2016

by Caleb Pritchard, Austin Monitor

The Lone Star Rail District survived what could have been a potentially fatal vote at the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Board meeting on Monday night.Website Insert Real Numbers copy

A marathon discussion over LSTAR’s fate began when CAMPO Board Chair Will Conley offered a two-part resolution that would have asked the Texas Department of Transportation to freeze CAMPO’s portion of funding to the rail district while also authorizing CAMPO’s executive committee to meet with other involved agencies to discuss the rail district’s future. Those agencies included TxDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and CAMPO’s San Antonio counterpart, the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or AAMPO.

The move came in the wake of Union Pacific’s abrupt withdrawal last month from a partnership with LSTAR to explore using the company’s existing freight line to run passenger trains from Georgetown to San Antonio while moving regional freight service to an as-yet nonexistent rail line east of Austin.

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