POSTED ON APRIL 11, 2012:
Forward motion. Recently, the Tulsa Rail Advisory Committee put forth its recommendations for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's (ODOT) passenger rail plan.
The Tulsa Advisory Committee to the Eastern Flyer Passenger Rail Development Task Force has approved a list of comments to submit to ODOT regarding its Oklahoma Freight and Passenger Rail Plan. ODOT has been working for the past year to create a long-range planning document and asked the public to submit suggestions based on the draft of their plan.
After ODOT's announcement of its draft, the Tulsa Advisory Committee, established by the city of Tulsa to provide supplemental support for Governor Fallin's task force, went to work in reviewing the documents and making suggestions. One of the primary recommendations made was that the state should "reestablish conventional passenger rail connections between the Tulsa metro area and the remainder of the nation."
The group cites the absence of a passenger rail system in the Tulsa area and Eastern Corridor as an emergency.
In the document, the advisory committee says a passenger rail between Oklahoma City and Tulsa could revitalize the economically depressed areas located between the two metropolitan areas. The group also predicts that a rail would refresh the region culturally, socially and politically.
The last passenger train operating between OKC and Tulsa ran from St. Louis to Oklahoma City and stopped operations in the late 1960s.
Currently, Tulsa is among the top ten largest metropolitan areas in the nation without intercity passenger rail service along with Phoenix, Las Vegas, Columbus, Nashville, and Louisville.
The Rail Advisory Committee will be requesting to appear on an upcoming Tulsa City Council committee meeting agenda in order to update the Councilors on its recommendations to ODOT's plan. This has not yet been scheduled.
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