The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is studying ways to improve inter-city passenger rail service between the Eugene-Springfield area and the Portland-Vancouver, Washington area. The study will help decide on a general passenger rail route and evaluate options for train frequency, station locations, trip time, and improving on-time performance.
An evaluation of four main route alternatives has been conducted and ODOT is holding five public open houses to give community members an opportunity to learn more about this project and provide input on the evaluation results. In Eugene, the public open house will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Eugene Public Library Bascom/Tykeson Room. The public is also invited to participate in an online open house between Nov. 5 and 18, at www.OregonPassengerRail.org.
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy co-chairs the project with John Russell, Portland business leader and former Oregon Transportation Commissioner. State Representative Nancy Nathanson, State Senator Lee Beyer, Springfield City Councilor Wylie, LTD board member Gary Gillespie, and OTC Commissioner Mark Frohnmayer also serve on the Leadership Council.
The needs and concerns of Oregon citizens are a key driver of the Oregon Passenger Rail Study. In early 2013, the project team developed a set of four main preliminary rail route alternatives after extensive stakeholder engagement and engineering development. These alternatives were evaluated in summer 2013 using criteria based on the project goals and objectives. Now, the project team is looking for public feedback on the evaluation results to deepen the team’s understanding of the trade-offs and implications of the preliminary alternatives. This input will also be used to help the Leadership Council make a recommendation on Dec. 17 on which rail route alternatives should receive more detailed study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
For more information, visit OregonPassengerRail.org or contact Transportation Planning Manager Rob Inerfeld at 541-682-5343.