Ask the editor: Is there a chance the proposed high speed rail from Houston to Dallas will require taxpayer dollars?

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A proposal from the company Texas Central Partners calls for the construction of a 240-mile track to carry a bullet train from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes. Project officials said construction will begin by the end of 2019 and will not require any public funding. However, opposition groups—such as Texans Against High Speed Rail—are skeptical about that promise.

Officials with Texas Central said the project is fully financed through the pre-construction phase and that all the risk falls to private investors. Taxpayer dollars would come into play if the company decides to pursue federal loans. If loans are necessary, Texas Central said they would be paid back in full using revenue garnered by the operation of the train over time.

The question is one of the rail’s ridership and profitability, where Texas Central’s supporters and opponents have vastly different thoughts. If federal loans are sought, this debate is certain to take center stage.

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  1. Donovan Maretick

    How could anyone trust a company like Texas Central with their marketing real estate scheme running amok. When originally marketed to the public they stated the project would cost 10 billion dollars and have minimal footprint of 3000 acres. Now you look at the draft environmental impact statement and they are looking at between 15 to as high as 20 billion and they need almost 8000 acres and are actively seeking federally secured loans. They have yet to share their ridership calculations or financials and have failed to prove they have eminent domain. This company should be held liable for the misinformation presented to Texans.
    We do not need another SH130 doomed to fail private project that leaves us taxpayers on the hook for billions.

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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