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Urban rail phasing options released

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Project Connect officials presented two phasing options for urban rail system Friday.

Phasing options include a 7.3 mile rail line from East Riverside at Grove to Hancock Center on 41st costing $900 million or a 5.7-mile track that would run from East Riverside at Grove to UT North at Dean Keeton at $820 million.These are in addition to the original $1.4 billion proposal, which include 9.5 miles of rail line connecting Highland Mall to Grove Boulevard.

Project Connect estimates operations and maintenance costs will run approximately $22.5 million annually for the 9.5 mile project, which would be paid for with existing Capital Metro sales tax and passenger fares.

It is anticipated that the urban rail project would be governed as a joint venture between the City of Austin and Capital Metro through the existing interlocal agreement, with Capital Metro as the operator of the line.

The urban rail recommendation is expected to be voted on by June 13. The community is encouraged to voice their opinions and concerns at SpeakUpAustin.org.

The recommendation will move forward according to this anticipated timeline:

  • May 20: Presentation to the Capital Metro Board of Directors during a work session.
  • May 22: Presentation to the Austin City Council during the regular council meeting.
  • June 13: CCAG meeting to consider the staff recommendation and develop an advisory group recommendation to forward along to the Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board of Directors.
  • June 17: Final recommendations will be presented to the Capital Metro Board of Directors and the Austin City Council during a special joint meeting of the two bodies – a vote on the project is not anticipated during this meeting
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