MoDOT exploring future of rail

MoDOT is asking the public about the future of rail transportation at a series of open houses across the state.

The Jefferson City meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday at East Elementary School, 1229 E. McCarty St. A presentation will be given at 6 p.m.

The purpose of the meetings is to gather public input on the development of MoDOT’s statewide rail plan, which will serve as the strategic framework for the development of freight and passenger rail service in Missouri for the next 20 years.

As work on the plan begins, the public is being asked to comment on the following:

• The current rail system’s ability to serve Missouri’s businesses in moving raw materials and finished products.

• The state’s interest in and potential ridership of intercity passenger rail.

• The role of publicly funded improvements to move people and goods on privately owned railroad systems.

• The importance of investing in different types of rail projects compared to other infrastructure needs, given likely funding limitations.

A statewide rail plan is necessary for Missouri to pursue federal funds for planning and constructing rail projects and prioritize investments that will enhance the movement of people and goods, expand connections between all modes of transportation and support long-term economic growth in Missouri.

In addition to the open house meetings, MoDOT is hosting an online public meeting through Nov. 18 at morail.org.

This online meeting will give those unable to attend open houses a chance to learn about freight and passenger rail in Missouri, ask questions and provide input.

For more information, see www.morail.org.

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