An open house meeting for Lone Star Regional Rail, the proposed passenger rail line from Georgetown to San Antonio, will be held in Georgetown on January 28. The meeting begins the federal environmental review process to study routes and impacts of the rail line. The open house meeting is from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Georgetown Chamber Events Center, 1 Chamber Way in Georgetown (see map below).
The Lone Star Rail District is conducting the environmental impact study in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and Texas Department of Transportation. The meeting in Georgetown is one of six open house meetings in the region to provide public input on the project. Public involvement in the environmental impact study has these objectives:
- Define the purpose and identify the needs that the proposed project could address, including lack of transportation options, lack of regional connectivity, and increasing highway congestion.
- Allow the public to learn more about the history of the proposed project and planning studies completed to date.
- Identify issues that should be studied including regional air quality and natural resources.
- Provide an opportunity for the public to identify ways that the proposed project could address transportation needs.
“These open houses are an opportunity to engage with individual communities and provide information about the history of the project and the work we’ve completed to date,” said Joseph Black, rail director for the Lone Star Rail District and project manager of the environmental review. “We’ll also be gathering input from residents and stakeholders to include in the project record. Community feedback is a crucial part of the environmental review process, and we want to ensure everyone is able to be part of the process.”
The LSTAR passenger rail line is proposed to improve mobility, mode choice, accessibility, transportation reliability and facilitate economic development along the I-35 corridor in Central and South Texas. One option being studied would provide passenger rail service from Georgetown to San Antonio within existing freight rail corridors, while moving some existing freight rail service to a new bypass constructed between Taylor and San Antonio.
The environmental impact study will involve public input on potential impacts and benefits of the LSTAR rail line as well as input on alternatives for the project route and scope. A decision on the project route and scope by the end of 2017 would allow for federal funding eligibility.
To learn more or submit comments online, visit the Lone Star Regional Rail project website, eis.LoneStarRail.com. The deadline for online comments is February 27.
Lone Star Rail District is an independent public agency formed in 2003 to bring regional passenger rail service to the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Georgetown City Council Member Patty Eason is one of 20 local and state representatives on the board of the Lone Star Rail District.
The slides below provide more information on the Lone Star Regional Rail project and the environmental impact study process:
Location map to the Georgetown Chamber Events Center: