April 24, 2019 - TRA Commentary -

They voted NO but it was for the right reason. It was an outpouring of public support last week when leaders of business, government agencies, advocates and everyday people said that 11 bills designed to disable or kill the high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston were bad for the Texas economy and should not go forward.

The bills, filed by rural legislators between North Texas and Houston were heard by a special sub-committee of House Transportation in Austin. In the end they were left pending in committee. But the legislative session is not over and the anti high-speed rail bills could still get some traction. We'll be watching for any movement.

This project would be one of, if not the largest, one time infrastructure project to be built to connect two mega-regions, North Texas and Greater Houston. The economic impact is so great that billions of dollars of private investment will be needed, creating 10,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent good paying positions with the railroad. It will wisk travelers from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes at up to 200 miles per hour.

Texas Rail Advocates would like to thank the following for taking time to oppose the 11 bills, many of which were retreads from the 2017 session that attempted to place paperwork and physical roadblocks in the way of a private venture, Texas Central Railway, bringing high-speed rail to Texas. If you know them or see them, please thank them for their forward thinking.

Anderson, Brad (Self; Texas Central)

Attas, Jessica (Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce)

Barksdale, Jay (Irving - Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce)

Barksdale, Jay (Plano Chamber of Commerce)

Barksdale, Jay (VisitDallas)

Bearden, Chase (Coalition of Texans with Disabilities)

Benzion, David (Texas Central)

Bragiel, Justin (Texas Hotel and Lodging Association)

Bunker, Phil (Self)

Cain, David (The Real Estate Council of Dallas)

Camacho, Priscilla (Dallas Regional Chamber)

Campbell, Drew (Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition)

Cheng, Ashley (Self)

Cortez, Albert (Houston Construction Association)

Cowle, Rebecca (Texas Central)

Davies, Holli (North Texas Commission)

Drake, Jack (Transportation Advocacy Group Houston Region)

Geske, Matthew (Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce)

Gunn, Kristen (Self)

Hagy, David (Texas Central)

Hale, Angela (Frisco Chamber)

Hale, Angela (McKinney Chamber)

Hernandez, James (Self; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

Hines, James (Texas Association of Business)

Jackson, Sarah (Dallas Citizens Council)

Jackson, Tori (Texas Central Railroad)

James, Monte (Texas Central)

Keffer, Jim (San Antonio Chamber of Commerce)

Kelman, Clemence (TexPIRG)

Kelterborn, Larry (LDK Advisory Inc)

Landin, Taylor (Greater Houston Partnership)

LeCody, Peter (Self; Texas Rail Advocates)

MacDougal, Vanessa (Self)

Matos, Hector (Citigroup)

Parker, Mitchell (Self)

Patterson, Torkel (International HSR Association)

Peabody, Susan (Self)

Pedigo, Gary (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen)

Reed, Cyrus (Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club)

Reed, Holly (Self; Texas Central

Rodriguez, Theresa (Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership)

Simon, Arthur (Self)

Smith, Jamaal (City of Houston, Office of the Mayor)

Smitherman, Ronnie (Self; TexasBuildingTrades Council)

Sparks, Clifford (City of Dallas)

Suhm, Vic (Self; Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition)

Swartzell, Charles (Self)

Walters, Rob (Self; Dallas citizens council)

Webb, Dale (Self)

Wehmeyer, Mackenna (Transportation Advocacy Group Houston)

Young-Montgomery, Rebecca (Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce)