State representative spearheading state-local partnership to deliver passenger rail service into Eastern Carolina
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - State Representative Brian Farkas (D-Pitt) announced his office has taken the first steps to establish eventual passenger rail service to one Eastern Carolina county.
Rep. Farkas is spearheading a collaborative effort to better connect Pitt County and Eastern North Carolina to the rest of the state through is passenger rail initiative.
“We often hear Greenville referred to as the gateway to Eastern North Carolina,” said State Rep. Farkas. “To live up to that distinction, we need to act boldly to ensure our area has access to affordable and dynamic transportation options. There’s no reason why Pitt County, with a population over 90,000 and Greenville-based East Carolina University, shouldn’t be a part of a statewide passenger rail system.”
Rep. Farkas outlined the initial steps being taken to begin this work, the first being the completion of a detailed feasibility study. When complete, the study will deliver a comprehensive assessment of what needs to be done to make passenger service a reality. The study assesses route options, engineering requirements, population demographics, and coordination with privately-owned rail lines (CSX, etc.). It will also define project objectives and next steps. This study is a critical part of making a future rail project eligible for federal funds allocated in the recent bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Currently, Rep. Farkas’ office has been working with the Greenville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Mid-East Rural Planning Organization, Pitt County Government, and the City of Greenville to finance the study using a combination of state and local funds. He hopes to have the funds secured and the study underway by September of this year.
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