[Ok-sus] FW: [PassRailOK] Governor's Veto Likely, Heartland Flyer Threatened

Shauna Struby sstruby at cox.net
Tue Mar 19 19:58:49 UTC 2013

Fyi …


From: sfrr at aol.com [mailto:sfrr at aol.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 2:46 PM
To: sfrr at aol.com
Subject: [PassRailOK] Governor's Veto Likely, Heartland Flyer Threatened 


We have been made aware that two significant pieces of legislation are
subject to veto by Governor Fallin’s office.  This could also jeopardize the
existing Heartland Flyer as ODOT’s David Streb recently said, "We don’t want
to be in the rail business."  While not specific to passenger rail, and we
would expect a denial from this office, this does represent long term ODOT


Tulsa Business Journal


Due to federal law, The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of
2008, Oklahoma and Texas will be paying more for the Heartland Flyer during
FY-2014 and beyond.  This cost will likely exceed the present state annual
appropriation of $2 million annually by about 30 to 40%.  


It is time to create an agency that is working to develop rail, not to
dispose of state property assets that are creating jobs and have the
potential to create many more.  The exclusion of Tulsa from the state’s
passenger rail network is a continuing sore point for northeast Oklahoma.
It is time for the full legislature to get serious, as has House
Transportation Chairman Charlie Joyner, about freight and passenger rail
preservation and development.

The bills in jeopardy include the Oklahoma Railway Commission (HB2180),
that would take rail programs out of ODOT’s oversight, and a Right of First
Refusal bill (HB2187) that would help a passenger rail friendly corporation
the Stillwater Central, retain control over state owned track between
Oklahoma City and Sapulpa.  This track was the subject of commuter rail
discussions between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  


ODOT’s refusal to accept the fiscally efficient alternative to a $2 billion
High Speed Rail vision between Oklahoma City and Tulsa was evident during
Eastern Flyer Passenger Rail Development Task Force meetings this past fall.
They have rejected the notion that frequent 80-mph passenger rail is viable
using existing state owned infrastructure between the state’s two major
metropolitan areas at a cost of $50 million as quoted by a national
passenger rail carrier.    


We highly encourage you to write to Governor Fallin and let her know she
should not veto these bills.  THIS IS URGENT.  If you need help with letters
or putting your thoughts together please do not hesitate to e-mail me.
Governor Fallin’s address is:


The Honorable Mary Fallin

Oklahoma Governor

2300 N. Lincoln Blvd

Oklahoma City, OK 73105


Oklahoma Rails Commission : : HB2180

<http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=HB2180&Tab=0> &Tab=0


Right of First Refusal : : HB2187




Passenger Rail Oklahoma

www.PassengerRailOK.org <http://www.PassengerRailOK.org> 

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