10 Mar 2010, 10:23pm
Commuting Passenger rail:

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Austin back in the passenger rail game

Promo image from Capital Metro

Promo image from Capital Metro

After a 70-year hiatus, much debate and then a yearlong delay, Austin will soon join American citiesĀ that have addedĀ passenger rail back into the commuting mix.

On March 22, Capital MetroĀ will start running diesel trainsĀ on a 32-mile route with nine stops from Leander to downtown Austin, the agency recently announced. AĀ one-way trip will last a little more than an hour and the regular fare will beĀ $3.Ā 

Trains will come by every 35 minutes during peak travel times, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Nearly 200 people can fit in a car, including standing room.

To match the capacity of a highway lane, you’d have to hook upĀ three cars at a time and runĀ them every 15 minutes.Ā 

Metro shelled out $105 million for itsĀ rail system, a figure that doesn’t include some direct costs, the Statesman said.Ā Still, at about $3.3 million a mile, using an old rail line, the city struck a bargain as far as rail projects go.

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