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Capital Metro schedules meetings on Central Corridor study, gains TIGER grant for rail work

Capital Metro will hold a series of meetings starting Sept. 25 to solicit public opinions on the next phase of Project Connect: the Central Corridor study, officials for the Austin, Texas-based agency announced on Friday.

Public feedback will be used to lay the groundwork for selecting the region's next transit investment, officials said in a press release. The meetings will be held Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2.

The Central Corridor is home to several major attractions, including the Capitol Complex, University of Texas, downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake, the future UT-Dell Medical School and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Meanwhile, Capital Metro officials announced earlier this month the agency was awarded an $11.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) V grant, which the agency will use to advance rail improvements, such as increasing train speed and beginning or completing state-of-good repair projects. The grant also provides the agency with the flexibility to make future service enhancements, agency officials said.

The TIGER V funds will help cover the cost of:
• rail and signal timing improvements that will help reduce vehicle delays and rail-traffic congestion;
• commuter-rail enhancements, including additional sidings and double tracking in the most critical areas, which are projected to increase commuter-rail ridership capacity by 15 percent and reduce commute times by five to 10 minutes; and
• freight-rail enhancements, including the replacement of several bridges, and rail rehabilitation and realignments that will increase speeds and enhance safety while doubling freight capacity and improving reliability.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/16/2013