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Senator Leftwich says High Speed Rail One Option in Meeting Future Transportation Needs

Sen. Leftwich says it is critical to start looking at transportation options, including high speed rail service now.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 For Immediate Release: July , 2003 Clip
Senator Keith Leftwich
Senator Leftwich says High Speed Rail One Option in
Meeting Future Transportation Needs Although 202 sounds like the distant future, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman
Keith Leftwich told those attending a meeting at the State Capitol that the state needs to start work now planning ways to meet transportation demands in the coming years.
One of the options being discussed is highspeed passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. University of Oklahoma professor Richard Marshment presented the results of a study done on such a service, which included a highspeed rail line connecting Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
This is just one option being considered for meeting projected transportation needs in the future. But if we dont begin addressing these critical transportation needs now, we will be facing serious gridlock on our main roadways that will impede economic development and work productivity, said Senator Leftwich.
According to the study, Oklahoma is expected to grow by nearly two million people over the next twentyfive years, with much of the additional population residing in the Oklahoma City to Tulsa corridor.
The study indicated a starter line for highspeed service between Oklahoma City and Tulsa would cost an estimated 900 million, with 0 percent of the funding coming from the federal government. The report indicates the 9year construction project would employ an average of 2,09 workers and generate million dollars in earnings.
The initial analysis suggests the line could attract about 000 people each day, with even higher numbers if airportto airport service is made available or if the service is extended to other metropolitan areas such as St. Louis, Kansas City and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The trains would be able to travel at speeds of up to 0 mph.
Again, there are a lot of other components that would have to fall into place, including reliable and convenient mass transit once you reach your destination. But I cannot emphasize enough that if we want to remain economically competitive and meet the projected transportation needs of our state down the line, weve got to get state officials and the public thinking about this now, said Senator Leftwich.

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