A depressed economy and a budget-cutting political climate have indefinitely delayed a proposed Houston-Galveston passenger rail line, a project that could have been under construction by now according to earlier predictions.
Despite strong support from governments in Galveston County, federal dollars are harder to come by than when the idea gained favor in 2007, and local money is too scarce to finance the $650 million project, said Barry Goodman, whose Goodman Corp. consulting firm spearheaded the effort to win federal money for the project.
“The reasons for that are the economic downturn the last two years has impacted local political subdivisions very dramatically,” Goodman said.
The dearth of local and federal money has turned the project from something over the horizon into a more distant goal, he said.
But Goodman says he’s not giving up and will continue to lobby for the money. Neither is Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, whose city has led the fight for the commuter rail line.
“I’m certainly not letting it go,” said Jaworski, who vowed to seek support for the project at the regional, state and federal levels.