The City Council at its Monday meeting discussed a proposed regional plan to speed development of the Cotton Belt Rail Line, a 62-mile passenger rail corridor that would initially connect Richardson to Fort Worth. The future line is expected to include two stops in Richardson near the UT Dallas campus and President George Bush Turnpike east of US-75.
Most of the rail line is owned by DART, which doesn’t have the means to develop it for the next 25 years based on other capital obligations. Several cities and other agencies are hoping to work together to secure alternative funding and begin operating the rail line by 2016-2017.
The proposed plan obtains funding for the $2 billion project through tax revenue sharing, parking fees, naming rights, development value capture, loans, grants and other mechanisms. The Richardson City Council is expected to vote next week on a resolution to give the North Central Texas Council of Governments authority to take the lead in pursuing the Cotton Belt project as a public private partnership on behalf of interested partners in the region.
Watch Monday’s City Council presentation at http://bit.ly/Scw6E5.