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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 3:27am

Push for Passenger Rail Funding

The chief executive officer of Georgians for Passenger Rail says his organization will be trying to fit commuter train projects into plans for a regional transportation sales tax. Gordon Kenna of the passenger rail group says a Macon-to-Atlanta commuter line should move to the head of the pack for funding because it would cost comparatively little to get it going.

A Brookings Institution study of a Macon-Atlanta rail line estimates it would cost $400 million to establish service, plus another $25 million per year to operate. An Atlanta-Macon line would cross three regions with different interests. Each region has the ability to pass or reject a regional tax. Voters won't consider regional sales taxes until November 2012.

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