The Regional Transportation Council approved $4.5 million in funding this week [Aug. 13] for planning, design and other preliminary work on proposed high speed rail projects for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The $4.5 million high speed rail allocation was one of 49 projects approved by the council for $63.4 million in funding for its Fiscal Year 2015-2018 Regional Air Quality and Management and Operations Initiatives.
The 44-member council, comprised of representatives from 11 counties including Tarrant and Dallas, oversees metropolitan transportation planning by the North Central Texas Council of Governments..
The $63.4 million multi-year budget includes a variety of projects to address new air quality conformity initiatives. The projects range from bike and pedestrian safety to unmanned aircraft systems.
The high speed rail initiatives will be funded by regional toll revenue _ to be allocated $1.5 million a year in fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The funding will support work by NCTCOG’S transportation staff in planning, project development, design and preliminary engineering for potential high speed rail projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to a council spokeswoman.
The allocation will make possible the continued coordination on separate studies evaluating high speed rail options between Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston and Oklahoma and Texas, the spokeswoman said.
Funded by a Japanese business that has operated high-speed rail for 50 years, the Texas company says the environmental impact study could pave the way for rail construction to begin by 2017. By 2021, the 200-mph trains could be transporting passengers between Houston and Dallas in 90 minutes, supporters say.
For more on Texas’ high speed rail plans