The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 29, 2014

Corridor study due in late summer

Edmond listed on 1 of 3 commuter routes

EDMOND — City leaders should know later this summer the results of a study determining whether a commuter rail project is feasible for Edmond and Central Oklahoma.

The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and project consultants with URS Corporation had its second and final webinar Wednesday afternoon on the Central Oklahoma Commuter Corridors Study.

The 18-month study sponsored by ACOG is designed to determine whether there is feasibility and support for commuter-rail service in central Oklahoma. The study is to be completed later this summer.

“This is a feasibility study,” said Holly Massie, special programs officer and project manager with ACOG. “The consultants are trying to determine the feasibility of it, the cost and whether there is public support for it. It (study) was really members of our local governments who were supportive of this.”

The Central Oklahoma Commuter Corridors Study considers various routes and modes of public transportation for moving people throughout Central Oklahoma, focusing on three specific corridors all overlapping in downtown Oklahoma City at the Santa Fe Intermodal Hub.

The North corridor extends 14 miles between Edmond and downtown Oklahoma City, the East corridor extends 10 miles from downtown Oklahoma City through Del City to Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base and the South corridor extends 17 miles from downtown Oklahoma City through Moore to Norman and the University of Oklahoma.

“There are three corridors under review,” Massie said. “The consultants have done more detailed analysis. They have looked at cost, ridership and any major obstacles it might have. This program would be different from Amtrak, which goes state to state. This would go metro to metro.”

Massie said additionally, potential costs and technical feasibility has been assessed for each of the alternatives within the three corridors.

She said project consultants sought input from registrants regarding locally preferred alternatives and transit mode to assist in developing final recommendations.

Massie said part of that transit mode includes shuttle bus service from the trains.

“If anything was ever built, you would need a much broader bus system to feed it so when people get off the train there is something to take them closer to their destination,” Massie said.

Massie said the study does examine funding options for a regional transit system but there is presently no current revenue source available for a build-out of any alignment or mode recommendation.

“There is no money to build anything,” Massie said. “If you ever hope to get federal funds you have to follow certain processes and we are doing that with this.”

FOR MORE information about the Commuter Corridors Study, visit www.CentralOKgo.org.

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