Interim study to address passenger rail expansion
Team Radio Marketing Group - July 20, 2017 12:00 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – In an effort to lay out solutions to completion of the proposed Eastern Flyer route and to look at new horizons for the Heartland Flyer, urban Democratic Reps. Monroe Nichols and Forrest Bennett will host interim study 17-107 on passenger rail expansion on Sept. 6 in Room 512A in the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Upon release to the public of information regarding the upcoming study on rail expansion, messages of support for rail and other mass transportation options came in from all sectors of business and politics to include pro-business groups traditionally associated with customary corporate concerns. These groups are taking a hard look at the impact upon those concerns when a state and its cities have no connectivity.
“I am encouraged that the Oklahoma City Chamber has joined the thousands of Oklahomans in support of this effort,” said study coauthor Nichols, D-Tulsa. “We all recognize this as a huge economic development opportunity. Passenger rail provides yet another mode of transportation, connecting our major economic hubs to those in cities in our region and across the country.
Rail has been talked about for too long without enough action, Nichols said.
“We ought to be investing in all forms of transportation. What we have is a chance to ensure Oklahoma isn’t left behind; rail isn’t a new thing, it’s something we need to fully embrace. The groundwork has been laid; all that is left is for us to take the last few steps to –literally- get the trains rolling,” he said.
“We know based on a Tulsa Chamber study in 2014, that there are upwards of 5,000 business commuters daily between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. For Oklahomans, the savings and increased opportunity for a productive commute makes riding instead of driving a worthwhile endeavor. Those aspects are in addition to having connectivity to Kansas City, St. Louis and other major cities in this part of the country,” Nichols said.