Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Central announce joint agreement supporting high-speed rail project

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Development of Texas Central’s high-speed rail route took another step forward Thursday morning as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced his support for the project by signing a memorandum of understanding at Houston City Hall.

According to a statement from Texas Central, the city of Houston and Texas Central will seek job creation and economic development opportunities for the city of Houston through the development of the Houston train station as a result of Thursday’s joint agreement.

Texas Central, a private company, plans to construct a 240-mile high-speed rail route from Houston to Dallas. When completed, the route will provide riders a 90-minute trip from Houston to Dallas.

“As I shared in my State of Mobility address, Houston needs a paradigm shift—a comprehensive approach to mobility that includes all forms of transportation,” Turner said in a statement. “Certainly, a high-speed train to Dallas is a glowing idea among the options, especially when state transportation officials project traffic congestion on Interstate 45 between Houston and Dallas will double by 2035, increasing travel time from about four hours to more than 6.5 hours. Simply building more highways is not the answer.”

According to a statement from Texas Central, the project is expected to generate $36 billion in economic activity in the next 25 years, more than 10,000 jobs per year of construction and 1,000 permanent jobs along the rail route. As a result of the joint agreement, Houston residents will likely see additional job opportunities during construction of the rail line and the Houston passenger station.

“The bullet train is the next great deal for Texas,” said Drayton McLane, a member of the Texas Central board of directors. “This demonstrates how the free market can play an integral part in addressing America’s enormous infrastructure opportunities. The agreement continues the project’s momentum and shows the nation—and the rest of the world—how Texas does big things the right way for the public good.”

Houston and Texas Central will work together to provide a substantial and long-lasting positive effect on the city’s economy, future growth, job market, and local and state tax revenue, according to the joint agreement.

On Monday, Texas Central announced an agreement with preferred design-build companies Fluor Corporation and The Lane Construction Corporation, marking continued progress on the high-speed rail route from Houston to Dallas.

“We are thrilled to partner with the mayor and the city for our shared vision for what this project can be for the Houston region. We are grateful the mayor has endorsed a major milestone in the plan to bring a state-of-the-art bullet train system to our great state,” Texas Central President Tim Keith said in a statement. “We’re ready to go.”

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Anna Lotz
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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