A veteran of local government and an economic development expert, offering his take on the local benefits of Texas’ high-speed train
State Vice President
Served on the Texas Transportation Commission from 2013-2016, including the last year as vice chairman. The commission oversees the Texas Department of Transportation and a budget of about $12 billion a year.
- Worked to find solutions to benefit Texas facing growing transportation demands.
Economic Development executive
- CEO of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, 2003-2005.
- CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership
- Helped drive economically robust business activities for Texans, locally, nationally and internationally.
Former Denton County judge, 1991-1999.
- The county’s highest elected executive, dealt directly with residents on a variety of efforts to improve county life.
Jeff Moseley, the newly appointed state vice president of Texas Central, developers of Texas’ high-speed train, on the substantial benefits of the North Texas-to-Houston passenger line:
What should Texans expect from the high-speed train?
It will be America’s first true high-speed train, providing a safe, reliable, affordable and productive transportation choice. You don’t have to worry about traffic on I-45 or the hassles of airports. For local counties struggling with finances, the train is a taxpayer, not a tax-taker. Because it is being developed by a private company, it will not use public money for its operations. And, it will be paying millions of dollars in local taxes to the counties along the route. Recent estimates say that the train will add $36 billion in new economic benefits to the state.
Will this project create jobs for Texans?
Absolutely. For each year of construction, the project will create 10,000 jobs with as many as 1,000 permanent jobs once operations begin. The annual operations payroll is estimated at $80 million. Texas companies also will benefit directly from construction work, such as building the system and maintenance facilities, supplying materials and providing long-term support for the system.
What will it mean for casual travelers?
The train is fast, safe and reliable. How exciting would it be for you to spend the weekend, or even just the day, in Houston or Dallas after a short, 90-minute sprint, instead of dealing with traffic jams or the hassles of airports? Want to go see the Astros or Rangers play? Jump on the train. Need to see medical specialists? Jump on the train. Want to go shopping at the Galleria? Jump on the train. The possibilities are endless when you join the state’s two largest economic hubs with a mid-point stop near College Station that will serve Texas A&M University and Sam Houston State.
If traffic is so bad, why don’t we just build more roads?
As a statewide transportation official, I learned we need to give our citizens more choices in transportation. We continue to build roads, and that is part of the solution, but we must have other choices, like the high-speed train. A big advantage is that it will move the most people using the least amount of land and have the least impact on the environment and private property.
Will the train cut off access to land?
Absolutely not. The train is being designed along a narrow and mostly elevated route, largely following tracts adjacent to existing rights-of-way to minimize impact on land. Unlike other train crossings, the high-speed train will not interact with cars on roads. This design ensures public roads will remain in service, allowing for unobstructed movement alongside and under the elevated tracks. This will allow for the free movement of farm equipment, livestock, wildlife and vehicle traffic.