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WALLER COUNTY, Texas — The company spearheading the effort to build a high-speed light rail from Houston to Dallas promises a competitively priced transportation option and economic growth for the cities.
But the train’s path will run through 10 counties, and many residents in those counties say it will come at a price: the destruction of agriculture and land acquired through eminent domain.
It’s why dozens gathered at Prairie View A&M Tuesday to oppose the building of the bullet train.
“We do not want a high-speed train going through where we raise cattle, where we raise grandchildren,” said resident Rhonda Paige Jordan.
Jordan is also with the group Texans Against High Speed Rail. She sat in the packed auditorium as county and city leaders, public safety officials, advocacy groups and others spoke to representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation about the negative effects the train would bring.
The $12 billion proposed project would be constructed with private money from Texas Central Partners.
Proponents expect some 50,000 people to use it every week, who would be able to travel from Houston to Dallas in just 90 minutes.
Texas Central Partners sent KHOU this statement:
“The counties along the corridor and the state will receive a financial windfall from high-speed rail, which will provide thousands of jobs and an economic impact of $36 billion over the next 25 years. We are encouraged by our ongoing work with landowners along the corridor and the growing support of this historic project that meets the demands for safe and reliable travel between North Texas, Brazos Valley and Houston.”
But Jordan argues that point.
“The people who commute from Dallas to Houston, those who do it on a daily basis, eventually move to Dallas or Houston permanently or they fly,” Jordan said.
Construction could start as soon as 2017.