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November 18, 2013

Association gaining feedback for metro area commuter study

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The study will attempt to answer key questions.

“What are people in the community looking for in this type of transit system?” Cowin said. “Where are people going to and coming from? Are they going from home to work? Are they going to a hospital?”

Various modes of transportation and vehicles will be measured against goals and objectives and cost versus benefit.

“What makes the most sense?” Cowin said. “A lot of times, if you’ve got existing rail, commuter rail makes sense.”

Commuter rail runs on existing active freight tracts, while light rail or street car type of transit may need rails to be constructed. Bus rapid transit uses “nicer buses for longer trips than a local bus would,” Cowin said.

ACOG and its partners will perform a high-level analysis and a fatal flaw analysis, will document results and then will focus on the best alternatives to move forward. Cost estimates will be done for operation and maintenance — ongoing costs — and capital costs — up-front investments.

Eventually, a model will be developed to predict ridership and where people will get on, how many people will use the system and where those people will be going.

“To me, commuter rail connecting the metro makes the most sense,” said Norman City Council member Stephen Tyler Holman, who attended the event.

Holman said because the rail is pre-existing, commuter rail is a more fiscally viable alternative.

“I think we should also look at the connection to the (Will Rogers World) airport,” he said.

Meeting locations are accessible for people with disabilities. ACOG will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. Call 234-2264 for more information.

For more information about the study, visit centralokgo.org.

Joy Hampton

366-3544

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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