THSRTC leaders have long recognized the promising environment in Texas for building and operating high-speed rail service. Some of the basis for this optimism are:
- An explosion of Texas population in the last decade will boost today’s over 26 million Texans to double by 2040 to over 52 million. This population density will slow travel on Interstate highways and make high-speed rail service more attractive.
- Over 80 percent of this population base lives within the main “triangle” ripe for high-speed rail development between Fort Worth-Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, and Houston.
- The state’s land profile provides relatively flat surface area to build on, with no mountains, and few rivers to cross, bringing the cost of building high-speed rail well under those of most U.S. areas, such as California and most countries in Europe and Asia.
- The Texas economy is robust, having added the most jobs in the U.S. in the past five years, and bristling with economic activity not hampered by a state income tax.
- This economic strength in Texas provides a strong potential for rail-station site development, known as transit oriented development (TOD), so that cities along the high-speed rail network can grow and participate in the increased tax base brought about by TOD.
- Texas’ location in the center of the U.S., its favorable weather and robust international airports along the path of the proposed high-speed rail network in Fort Worth-Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, are important features.