There is a new map for the regional higher speed passenger rail in the Midwest. It gives us two things. A glimpse of what our regional higher speed passenger rail, Travel Rail, can look like. And hope from knowing that other parts of the nation are discussing making this happen. If they can do it there, we can do it here.
Here is the map and article:
This shows us some of the great possibilities our regional plan will deliver. By giving us rail connections to Kansas City MO and St Louis MO Travel Rail will connect the mid-south and the southwest to the Midwest. That isn’t small stuff, that’s huge. The impact of spreading high paying construction jobs across Arkansas that will reverse decades of creeping poverty and population loss is big. The impact of the new high paying permanent jobs is equally big. And the investment that we will attract while we do this is going to add to our state’s propensity.
This will happen because we dare to dream that someone can board a train in West Memphis and alight in Dallas Texas or St Louis MO. Or board a train in Conway AR and and alight in Fayetteville AR. Why creating a “pillar corridor” connecting the economic center of Arkansas (NWA) to our state capital or Tulsa OK, or Kansas City MO will make a difference. A big difference in how people in and outside Arkansas travel.
This political season we here at ORBTS will strive to get the 4 Cities to pass a small sales tax that will provide dedicated funding for Ozark Regional Transit Authority. We will also work on progressing education for the public on passenger rail here in Arkansas. A rail system that will connect us with other rail and transit systems in neighboring states via the Connected Network model. (See the article for more on Connected Networks).
We need this to cut the amount of carbon we excrete into the air and water. We need this to rebuild crumbling communities across our state. If we don’t we face the real possibility that the entire state of Arkansas will become like Detroit. We need this to show that Arkansas is a forward looking state, ready to take challenges head on.
We need this.