The North Central Texas Council of Governments' Regional Transportation Council is working to convince city officials to support a new rail line system that would connect Plano and McKinney.

In a transportation study presented to Plano City Council during the Feb. 14 preliminary open meeting, Michael Morris, director of transportation for the council, outlined the various benefits, costs, options and challenges associated with the proposed rail line.

He said, if built, the line could connect Plano to McKinney through two options: by an extension of the DART Red Line that has stations off Parker Road and in Downtown Plano, or by extending DART’s Silver Line that is under construction and set to be complete in 2024.

The 26-mile Silver Line will connect Plano to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and will add two new stations to the city with the 12th Street Station and the Shiloh Road Station.

The proposed McKinney to Plano line would be 18 miles long and the transportation council estimates it would have 7,000-8,000 riders a day by 2045. The council estimates construction would cost between $700 million and $900 million.

“First, we have got to let DART ... get the Silver Line [finished] but in the meantime let’s see if we can create this vision,” Morris said during the meeting. “[That vision] could be the Plano to McKinney line. If I had to pick one rail corridor that could be next, it is the Plano to McKinney line.”

Plano Council Member Rick Smith said the uptick in economic development around the proposed transit stations could be a positive aspect of the project. Some local officials in McKinney, Morris said, are in support of the rail extension and are eager to connect the two cities via the transit line.

“[McKinney Mayor George Fuller] is very excited to advance now,” Morris said. “We are moving pretty quickly with regard to any and all opportunities to gain consensus on extension of that rail line.”

Morris said DART already owns most of the necessary land along the proposed rail line corridor and the transportation council is working on gathering support from the various cities along the proposed route.

The study proposes seven new stations between Parker Road in Plano and downtown McKinney.

“We want to see if we can get [this line] nailed down,” Morris said. “You are in the fastest-growing part of the United States and you are not going to be able to solve all your transportation needs on the back of the automobile.”

The entire presentation can be seen here. More information on the NCTCOG regional transportation plan can be seen on its website.