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Austin - September 2009

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Austin — City Rail Plan Advances

Rail Transit Online, September 2009

The City of Austin is likely to issue a request for qualifications later this month for preliminary engineering on the rail component of a wide-ranging strategic mobility plan.

The rail concept developed over the past two years calls for an approximately 15-mi. (24.1 km) route using hybrid streetcar/LRT rolling stock. It would be built in segments but would ultimately connect northeast Austin, the University of Texas and downtown with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport via Riverside Boulevard.

"We've committed to accelerate the process and get going as fast as possible ... so the community and policymakers can make a decision," Rob Spillar, director of the city's transportation department, told the Austin Business Journal.

An RFQ seeking consultants for the mobility plan has already been issued. The 50-percent local share of the rail segment's capital cost, estimated at $600 million, would come from transportation bonds if voters approve, possibly in November 2010 if a final proposal is ready by then. The remainder would be contributed by the federal government.


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