Saturday, December 4, 2010

Urban rail in Austin can move millions

Updated: Tuesday, 30 Nov 2010, 1:37 AM CST
Published : Monday, 29 Nov 2010, 7:21 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austinites checked out the latest in rail car technology Monday.

The company that designed urban rail cars for Portland, Ore., is taking its model on tour across the country. Company officials stopped in Austin Monday to show off its product.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell wants urban rail in Austin, which will cost tens of millions of dollars.
He expects "Phase 1" of the project to go up for a bond vote next year, and said it's crucial to make downtown accessible to the growing population.

"Our downtown is already congested. There is no room to put additional roads downtown because the roads and buildings are already there, and if we're going to have have another million people moving into Austin over the next 30 years, we've got to find some way to move those people around," said Leffingwell.

Leffingwell said Phase 1 of an Austin Urban Rail project would cost about $200 million. He expects federal funds would help pay to finish off the system.

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