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UTC supports Lone Star Rail
Thursday, September 15, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard
The Austin Urban Transportation Commission has thrown its support behind another rail project with a less-than-sunny outlook. On Tuesday night, the group approved a resolution in defense of the Lone Star Rail District (known as LSTAR), the proposed passenger rail service between Georgetown and San Antonio. In October, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will vote on whether to remove LSTAR from its long-range plan, known as CAMPO 2040. A vote for removal would effectively spell the existential end of LSTAR, though not necessarily of passenger rail in the corridor. The UTC’s resolution requests that the city of Austin’s delegation on the CAMPO Transportation Policy Board “reflect the positions” that the UTC opposes LSTAR’s removal and supports the continued funding of the federally mandated environmental impact study for which CAMPO is on the hook. Commissioner Kelly Davis, who authored the resolution, said just before its unanimous approval, “I just want to say on the record that Lone Star Rail would be so cool!” The vote echoes several actions by the commission earlier this year in support of efforts to put a light rail bond referendum on the November ballot. Those efforts proved ultimately to be unsuccessful.