AUSTIN (KXAN) – Call it a dry run, or even a guided tour. Wednesday gave us a first hand look at the urban rail route that supporters say will take 200,000 cars off Austin’s roads.
The proposed 9.5-mile Locally Preferred Alternative route for the Urban Rail would start at Grove Boulevard and Riverside Drive near the ACC Riverside Campus in East Austin.
It would travel down Riverside and make five stops along the way before crossing Lady Bird Lake to Trinity Street.
From there the rail will make several stops around downtown and on UT’s campus, basically eliminating parking along San Jacinto Boulevard before reaching ACC’s campus at the old highland mall.
The route is designed to help secure a federal grant which will help pay for a good chunk of the $1.4 billion dollar project. The rest would be paid for by bonds that voters will likely be asked to approve this November. Urban Rail Project Lead, Kyle Keahey, believes that securing funds will be one of the bigger challenges with this project.
“I think with any project the toughest hurdle is the funding aspect of it. It’s a big request that the Council will consider next week. But is does consider the future of Austin for our children and for their children as well as what we want to be able to see.”
The proposed Urban Rail route will also have four stops that incorporate a ‘Park and Ride’ option for commuters. They will proposed stops will be at Grove Boulevard, Pleasant Valley, Hancock Center and ACC Highland.