Texans have been hearing about plans for high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston for more than a decade now. The state’s population eclipsed 30 million last year and shows no sign of slowing down.
With that kind of population density all over the state, Michael Morris, the director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, says it is imperative to find a different way to move large numbers of people.
“You’re not going to be a mega-region in this century if you cannot provide fast, safe, inner-city transportation,” he said. “And high-speed rail, we think now versus the automobile, high-speed rail is a safe, very convenient inner city transportation mode.
Widening existing roadways and building new ones will ease some congestion, but may not be the most sustainable long-term solution.
“There’s just really no way to build yourself out of it because humans are kind of insatiable,” said Kara Kockelman, the Dewitt Greer Centennial Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Texas. “So we’re going to keep wanting to go further, faster, and bigger vehicles unless we institute thoughtful policies to really manage demand.”
Even if it takes a little time, Morris said he believes more rail service will make its way to North Texas in the coming years.
“I think Amtrak is making Dallas-Fort Worth sort of their home west of the Mississippi,” he said. “If you think of Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, and San Antonio coming by inner-city passenger rail to DFW with high-speed rail to Houston, you’re seeing quite a nexus with regard to the gross domestic product that Dallas-Fort Worth represents with its partner communities.”
Source : NBC