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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, January 15, 2016

Public invited to meeting about passenger rail in Chattanooga




Chattanooga’s neighborhoods were connected by rail and streetcar lines until 1946. Like many other cities, Chattanooga has the potential to adapt existing transportation assets to provide intra-city rail service that could bypass congestion and connect residents with important employment, educational, and transportation opportunities.

The Chattanooga Rail Transit Implementation Study aims to explore the re-introduction of passenger rail service, potentially returning to a 160-year tradition and opening the door to a broader mix of transportation options.

The public is encouraged to attend an upcoming public meeting to learn about the study, ask questions, and offer their input. The meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Imperial Ballroom of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, located at 1400 Market St. Light refreshments will be provided and complimentary parking is available at Shuttle Park South.

Attendees will be introduced to the potential route alternatives being considered in the study. The project team will also discuss the framework developed for evaluating these alternate routes, such as economic development, cost and funding, impact to the railroad, and environmental issues. The team will also review the community feedback received so far, and explain how that factors into the study.

“Since our first meeting in October, the project team has been developing these alternatives and the framework by which we can best evaluate them,” said Bill Cannon, project manager and City of Chattanooga Department of Transportation engineer. “We are committed to fully evaluating the feasibility and requirements of rail transit in our beautiful city.”

The Chattanooga Department of Transportation was awarded U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration TIGER Funds, and is supplementing those funds with local match funds. Outcomes of the study will include an evaluation of the alternatives, an inventory of benefits to the community, costs to build and operate the rail service, and an evaluation of the overall feasibility of the project.

For more information about the study, visit www.chattanooga.gov/rail.

Source: CARTA