Passenger rail could be coming to the Valley

The Texas Transportation Institute suggests traveling by railway as an effort to ease congestion

Congestion has become a big problem all across Texas, but the valley could possibly see other means of transportation.

"I remember being put on a train in San Benito as a child and riding it to Harlingen just so that my parents could give me the experience of riding a train because that was going to be the last passenger trip," Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell said.

It could possibly not be the last passenger trip for Mayor Boswell.

The federal government has asked states to consider other modes of transportation.

The Texas Transportation Institute suggests traveling by railway as an effort to ease congestion.

To help reduce demands on the state's roadways, a federally funded Texas-Oklahoma passenger rail study could allow rail services to reach an 850-mile corridor from Oklahoma to South Texas.

Ediverto Cruz recently moved from Los Angeles and says he TMs traveled on Amtrak railroads.

He said he welcomes the idea of a rail system reaching the valley.

"I think the train would be an excellent way to get out and also sightseeing," Ediverto Cruz said.

If the rail would make its way to the valley it would be the first largest corridor for long distance, making it easier to reach cities from Harlingen to Oklahoma along I-35.

According to the urban mobility report, an average commuter spends 38 hours yearly in congestion.

"There's still a tremendous amount of congestion through Austin and central Texas. If you want to get to Austin or central Texas it's becoming harder and harder to do so," Boswell said.

It could save you money. According to a study in 2011, congestion cost commuters an extra $818.00.

While the first phase of the study is underway some residents are already liking the idea.

" I myself think it would be excellent. I just flew in a couple of nights ago and it cost me a lot of money with American Airlines and Southwest and I think if an Amtrak -- we have an Amtrak in Los Angeles -- it TMs a lot more efficient much faster and way cheaper and excellent for the economy," Cruz said.

Mayor Boswell says it would benefit the entire state.

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